The Washington Capitals, led by Alexander Ovechkin, face the Florida Panthers, led by Jonathan Huberdeau, in Game 2 of the first round series of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs on Thursday, May 5, 2022 (5/5/22) at FLA Live Arena at Sunrise, Florida.
Fans can watch the action for free with a DirectTV Stream trial or by subscribing to Sling.
Washington leads the series, 1-0, after beating Florida in Game 1, 4-2.
Here is what you need to know:
what: NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, Game 2, Round 1
from: Capitals vs. Panthers
whenThursday 5 May 2022
where: FLA Live Arena
time: 7:30 p.m. Eastern time
channel finder: Verizon FuseAnd AT&T U-VerseAnd Comcast XfinityAnd Spectrum / CharterAnd Optimization / AlticeAnd CoxAnd DIRCTVAndDishAnd hollowAnd fuboTVAnd sling.
Live broadcast: DirectTV Stream (Free Trial), Sling
Watching matches in empty arenas in quarantine bubbles during the 2020 playoffs, the 2021 season and even in Canada earlier this year gave Gary Bateman even more appreciation for what NHL hockey is like in front of a selling audience.
“Our players are getting an extraordinary amount of energy and excitement from our fans and our entire buildings,” the long-time commissioner said.
The Tampa Bay Lightning celebrated their second consecutive Stanley Cup tournament at home last summer in the middle of a crowded house, but this was far from the norm all around. Their games in Montreal during that final came in front of a tiny crowd of 3,500 people at the Bell Center, which is usually a bustling arena known for the best atmosphere in the league.
There won’t be a playoff hockey game there this spring, but in three other Canadian cities and 13 in the US, every building is expected to be full at this time of year for the first time since 2019. The NHL has returned to pre-COVID-19 business levels The return to the regular playoffs is a big reason for the league’s angry return.
“This is the final return to normalcy,” Bateman said. “For our complete buildings and exciting rides, what more could we ask for? Especially after what we’ve all been through over the past two years.”
The NHL projected $5.2 billion in revenue at its annual Board of Governors meeting in December, with a $1 million salary cap next season after being held flat since 2020. Even after an omicron variable surge from the coronavirus forced teams north of the US-Canada border to play With no fans or limited attendance, the league is on track to cross the $5 billion mark.
“In terms of revenue, we’ve done really well this year,” Bateman said. “We basically did what we were expecting. The impact of having empty buildings in Canada for some time had an impact – stuff for those clubs – but in terms of the $5 billion in excess, that was a very, very small part of that.”
Even before the cup was handed out before the end of June, that was a huge win, especially after losing $3.6 billion when the 2019-20 season was cut short and running in deficit to play a short 56-game season in 2021.
While Bettman often points out that ticket sales and other income related to the portal make up less than 50% of the league’s business, the pandemic has spurred more creativity into exploring additional revenue streams. Advertisements have been added to players’ helmets, jersey patches will be released next season and these are the first seven-year US media rights deals with ESPN and Turner Sports.
“More people are consuming the game,” said Pittman, who added that TV ratings are up 18% and broadcast numbers even more. “We’re at a point where people want what they want when they want it the way they want it and that’s what we’re offering, and that was the foundation of our new media deals in the US because we were safe without being hacked and we wanted our games to be accessible in more but easy-to-find places.” .
Personally, there were hurdles along the way to completing 1,312 games – the longest regular season in NHL history.
A total of 106 matches have been rescheduled for reasons ranging from the virus, weather and attendance limits in Canada. Dozens of games that would have been played in cold, empty arenas in the middle of winter were pushed into the window created by the exit of the Beijing Olympics and some so far that government officials gave the go-ahead to full-blown fans.
When the Maple Leafs host the Lightning and Oilers with the Los Angeles Kings Monday night, it will be Canada’s first playoff game with full yards since 2019. Leafs star and leading NHL scorer Auston Matthews called for fans to return at full capacity “something we’re all looking forward to.”
Perhaps it is fitting that Toronto and Edmonton bring back the selling crowds after those cities hosted the 2020 bubble qualifiers. Post-season 2022 should be the furthest from those dark days, though the league is keeping an eye on potential border issues and viruses that could emerge without precedent. Warning.
Entering a full 82-game season for all 32 teams now with the addition of the Seattle Kraken is cause for celebration about the NHL, which is on track to finish the playoffs before July 1.
“All this indicates that we are back,” Bateman said. “And it’s great that our fans are back. It’s great that our game is on a more normal schedule. A little later than usual, but we’ll fix that next year.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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Ryan Novozinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.