The Buffalo Sabres begin a new season amid being the middle of one of biggest off-ice stories in the NHL.
In 2021-22, most Sabres games will be televised in local markets on MSG or MSG+, while some games will be nationally televised on NHL Network (usually out of market only, but those will also be on MSG or MSG+), TNT or ESPN.
Additionally, every out-of-market game (and some nationally broadcast games) will also stream on ESPN+, which replaces NHL.tv this season.
Whether you live in the Sabres market or somewhere else in the United States, here’s a full rundown of the different ways you can watch every Sabres game live online without cable in 2021-22:
Note: Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this page
If You’re in the Sabres Market
Note: A couple Sabres games this season will stream exclusively on ESPN+ nationally with no blackout for in-market viewers. The following options are for how to watch all other in-market games:
You can watch a live stream of MSG (local markets), MSG+ (local markets), ESPN, NHL Network and 100-plus other live TV channels (TNT not included) on FuboTV. MSG, MSG+ and ESPN are included in the “Starter” package, while NHL Network can be added with either the “Extra” or “Sports Plus” add-on.
The base channel package and any add-ons can be included in your free seven-day trial:
FuboTV Free Trial
Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch Sabres games live on the FuboTV app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox One or Series X/S, Samsung TV, LG TV, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV also comes with 250 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour look-back feature, which allows you to watch most games on-demand within three days of their conclusion, even if you don’t record them.
DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) has four different channel packages: “Entertainment,” “Choice,” “Ultimate” and “Premier.” ESPN and TNT are included in all of them, MSG (local markets) and MSG+ (local markets) are in “Choice” and up, and NHL Network is in “Ultimate” and up.
This is the only streaming service with all of MSG, MSG+, ESPN, TNT and NHL Network:
Get DirecTV Stream
Once signed up for DirecTV Stream, you can watch Sabres games live on the DirecTV Stream app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung TV, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the DirecTV Stream website.
If you can’t watch live, DirecTV Stream also comes with 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours).
If You’re out of the Sabres Market
You can watch every out-of-market, non-nationally televised NHL game (over 1,000 games total) on ESPN+, which replaces NHL.tv this season and is a must-have for any NHL fan in the United States:
ESPN+, which also includes about 75 exclusive national NHL games, plus dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary in existence and additional original content (both video and written), costs $6.99 for a month or $69.99 for a year (or about seven cents per NHL game if you want to look at it that way).
If you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month. Separately, the three streaming services would cost a total $20.97 per month, so you’re saving about 33 percent:
Get the ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu Bundle
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch every out-of-market Sabres game live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Sabres 2021-22 Season Preview
Young Sabres star center Jack Eichel’s name will follow the team wherever it goes this season amid the highly-publicized off-ice tension between Eichel and the franchise.
Eichel, the No. 2 draft pick by the Sabres in 2015, missed the last part of the 2020-2021 season because of a herniated disc. Tensions emerged over how the injury was handled, and the Sabres settled for putting him on injured reserve before this season. CBS Sports’ Chris Bengel wrote that Eichel’s saga with the Sabres and whether the team will trade him is one of the top storylines for the new NHL season.
“It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Sabres will be forced to move Eichel,” Bengel wrote. “At this point, it’s likely a matter of when and where Eichel ends up being dealt.”
Eichel didn’t have surgery on his neck’s herniated disc, and he’s in the middle of an eight-year, $80 million contract extension, Bengel noted. TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that there’s been some movement in talks with other teams about Eichel.
The rest of Buffalo’s young talent will look to keep developing and maybe stun a few teams — or more — this season. Buffalo’s oldest player and starting goalie, Craig Anderson, has a vision for what’s possible this season. He played for an upstart Ottawa Senators playoff team in 2012-2013 that no one saw coming, a potential parallel to this year’s Sabres that The Athletic’s John Vogl wrote about.
“If you look around our room, we don’t have a guy that’s going to put the game on his back and say, ‘Hey, go get it done for us,’” Anderson told Vogl. “We have to give ourselves a chance to win by being gritty, by being pesky to play against.”
For Buffalo to end a 10-year playoff drought, that’s what they’ll have to do. The Sabres have a plethora of talented offensive players under the age of 24 — most of whom haven’t reached their potential yet.
Casey Mittelstadt, a highly-touted prospect from Minnesota, hasn’t delivered a breakout season yet after going eighth in the 2017 draft. However, he posted 22 points in 41 games last season, which could lead to bigger things if he keeps up that pace.
Dylan Cozens, who went seventh in the 2019 draft, but had a quiet first season in Buffalo for 2020-2021 with 13 points in 31 games. Tage Thompson, a former St. Louis Blues first round pick, had 14 points in 38 games last season.
Defenseman Henri Jokiharju, formerly a Chicago Blackhawks first-rounder, had eight points and a -11 plus-minus score in 46 games for the Sabres last season. He posted career highs in points and plus-minus the previous campaign in 2019-2020.
Fellow defenseman and former No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin showed flashes of stardom after the Sabres took him in 2018. Dahlin posted 35 or more points each of his first two seasons and had a -7 plus-minus score in 2019-2020. Last season didn’t go as well for the Swedish hockey standout as he mustered 18 points in 56 games and had a -36 plus-minus score.
Second-year Sabres head coach Don Granato said he’s driven to see this group succeed sooner than later — similar to Anderson’s old squad.
“I love the challenge because if we can turn it around, the excitement on the other end is even greater,” Granato said per Vogl. “You have to thrive on those challenges.”