NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020-21 NHL season continues with Wednesday’s matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
After finally breaking through in last year’s playoffs, the Lightning will begin their trek towards another title as they host the Blackhawks on opening night of the 2020-21 season. Tampa is looking to become just the second team in the last 23 years to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
Repeating as Cup champs is already hard enough and now Tampa will have to endure a massive obstacle as they begin the season without Nikita Kucherov. The 2019 Hart Trophy winner underwent hip surgery in late December and will be sidelined for the entire regular season. Kucherov led all skaters with a franchise-record 34 points (7G-27A) in the playoffs.
While Tampa will be without Kucherov, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is out indefinitely as he deals with an illness.
Chicago’s offense took another major blow this offseason after Kirby Dach underwent surgery to repair a right wrist fracture in late December. Dach, who was named captain of Team Canada for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, suffered the injury on Dec. 23 in the exhibition opener of the world juniors. It was announced in late December that he would be sidelined for 4-5 months.
The Blackhawks announced in October that the team was heading in a different direction and the franchise would be entering a rebuild. The news came after the team chose to move on from veterans Corey Crawford and Brandon Saad. With Toews out indefinitely, the team will have to build around Kane.
[COVERAGE BEGINS AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN]
WHAT: Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning
WHERE: AMALIE Arena
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 13, 8 p.m. ET
ON THE CALL: John Forslund, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Blackhawks-Lightning stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.
Alex DeBrincat – Dylan Strome – Patrick Kane
Dominik Kubalik – Pius Suter – Brandon Pirri
Mattias Janmark – Lucas Wallmark – Andrew Shaw
Matthew Highmore – David Kampf – Ryan Carpenter
Duncan Keith – Connor Murphy
Calvin de Haan – Ian Mitchell
Nikita Zadorov – Adam Boqvist
Starting goalie: Malcolm Subban
Ondrej Palat – Brayden Point – Steven Stamkos
Alex Killorn – Anthony Cirelli – Mathieu Joseph
Blake Coleman – Yanni Gourde – Barclay Goodrow
Pat Maroon – Mitchell Stephens – Alexander Volkov
Victor Hedman – Jan Rutta
Mikhail Sergachev – Erik Cernak
Ryan McDonagh – Cal Foote
Starting goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Kathryn Tappen anchors studio coverage throughout the evening with analysts Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp as well as NHL insider Bob McKenzie.