The 2023-24 NHL season starts October 10th! If you are a fan, you can watch your favorite team on live TV from a streaming service whether it’s a local team or one across the continent. Read on to learn all you need to know!
In a hurry? Since the season has already started, you may want to skip the deep dive and just start watching. These are our top picks for local fans:
- Fubo: This streaming service is especially good for sports fans even though it has a broad selection of 150+ channels in its base plan. Fubo allows you to try out its service with a free trial.
- DIRECTV STREAM: More expensive but with other regional channels depending on your location. Also includes over 100 other channels in its Choice Plan. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
- Hulu + Live TV: This total entertainment streaming service provides a great on-demand selection and all the essential live TV channels.
If you can’t watch your favorite sports because of your location, get ExpressVPN to access the content you deserve.
Unfortunately, these three streaming services aren’t available in . But if you’ve already paid for the right service, and just can’t watch because of your location, there is an easy way to get the content you deserve. You need a VPN, like one of the following.
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If you’re overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, you’ll find all the answers in our full VPN guide.
Table Of Contents
The guide below will explain everything you need to know about how to watch the National Hockey League (NHL) online. Whether you’re looking for preseason, regular season, or championship games, you should be able to watch hockey online thanks to live streaming services like Fubo.
If you’ve cut the cord, there are several ways you can stream NHL without cable – check out our preferred options below:
Channels You Need to Watch NHL Games Online Without Cable
NHL coverage is available on many different channels but things have changed a lot starting in 2021. NBCUniversal used to air a lot of hockey games. But with the current restructuring of its sports division, they dropped their contract with the league.
Here are the national channels that air NHL games:
Nationally Broadcast Games
Here are the number of games each team will appear on national broadcasts and streaming through Hulu / ESPN+ :
|Columbus Blue Jackets||0||0||0||3|
|Detroit Red Wings||5||1||3||4|
|Los Angeles Kings||8||0||4||5|
|New Jersey Devils||8||1||2||5|
|New York Islanders||4||2||3||4|
|New York Rangers||5||5||1||2|
|San Jose Sharks||0||0||0||5|
|St Louis Blues||5||3||3||2|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||3||1||4||3|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||2||0||5||4|
|Vegas Golden Knights||7||0||6||3|
Regional Sports Networks
However, nationally broadcast games are only part of the picture. As with MLB and NBA, NHL games are primarily broadcast by regional sports networks (RSNs). In a particular area, the RSN will broadcast nearly all of the regular-season games of the local team.
Note that ESPN+ provides most live games but only out-of-market. So you won’t get to see any of the games involving your local team(s). Otherwise, you need to content yourself with nationally televised games or sign up with a service that offers you the appropriate RSN.
DIRECTV STREAM and Fubo offer almost all of them including the Bally Sports channels. The Canada-based teams don’t provide local broadcasting in the US and can be viewed with ESPN+, which can be purchased alone or with Hulu + Live TV.
|Anaheim Ducks (Bally San Diego/SoCal)||✅||✅||❌|
|Arizona Coyotes (Bally Arizona)||✅||✅||❌|
|Boston Bruins (NESN)||✅||✅||❌|
|Buffalo Sabres (MSG)||✅||✅||❌|
|Calgary Flames (ESPN+)||❌||❌||✅|
|Carolina Hurricanes (Bally South)||✅||✅||❌|
|Chicago Blackhawks (NBC Chicago)||✅||✅||✅|
|Colorado Avalanche (Altitude Sports)||✅||✅||❌|
|Columbus Blue Jackets (Bally Ohio)||✅||✅||❌|
|Dallas Stars (Bally Southwest)||✅||✅||❌|
|Detroit Red Wings (Bally Detroit)||✅||✅||❌|
|Edmonton Oilers (ESPN+)||❌||❌||✅|
|Florida Panthers (Bally Florida)||✅||✅||❌|
|Los Angeles Kings (Bally West)||✅||✅||❌|
|Minnesota Wild (Bally North)||✅||✅||❌|
|Montreal Canadiens (ESPN+)||❌||❌||✅|
|Nashville Predators (Bally South)||✅||✅||❌|
|New Jersey Devils (MSG)||✅||✅||❌|
|New York Islanders (MSG)||✅||✅||❌|
|New York Rangers (MSG)||✅||✅||❌|
|Ottawa Senators (ESPN+)||❌||❌||✅|
|Philadelphia Flyers (NBC Philadelphia)||❌||✅||✅|
|Pittsburgh Penguins (SportsNet Pittsburgh)||✅||✅||❌|
|San Jose Sharks (NBC Bay Area)||✅||✅||✅|
|Seattle Kraken (Root Sports Northwest)||✅||✅||❌|
|St Louis Blues (Bally Kansas City/Midwest)||✅||✅||❌|
|Tampa Bay Lightning (Bally Sun)||✅||✅||❌|
|Toronto Maple Leafs (ESPN+)||❌||❌||✅|
|Vancouver Canucks (ESPN+)||❌||❌||✅|
|Washington Capitals (NBC Washington)||✅||✅||✅|
|Winnipeg Jets (ESPN+)||❌||❌||✅|
Note that all the games of the NHL teams that have no RSN should be available through ESPN+, so you can watch via Hulu + Live TV.
Unblock Your Favorite Events & Teams With a VPN
If you can’t watch your favorite events or teams because of your location, a VPN will allow you to get the access you are entitled to, plus extra security and unequaled privacy. Check out our VPN Guide for everything you need to know, including our top pick ExpressVPN.
How to Watch NHL without Cable: At a Glance
If you’ve cut the cord, you’ll find multiple ways to watch NHL all the way through the Stanley Cup Finals without cable. It should be noted that these options will cost some money, though the cost will generally be lower than regular cable or satellite subscriptions.
There is one way to watch NHL games for free: get a digital antenna. ABC normally airs at least some games throughout the regular season and some playoff games as well. Of course, most streaming services will provide you access to these games too.
Superpower Your Sports Streaming With a VPN
For the sake of privacy, security, and access, you should be using a VPN. They are low-cost and easy to use. We’ve been using them for years and our top pick is ExpressVPN. Other brands worth checking out include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost.
i Our VPN Buyer’s Guide provides a complete introduction and all you need to know to choose the best VPN for your needs.
Using Live Streaming Services to Watch NHL Online
When you first make the decision to cut the cord, it can be daunting while trying to find a replacement for some of the channels you’ve lost. This is where a streaming TV service comes in handy. Luckily, there are plenty of services available and all of them offer something for everyone.
In most cases, a channel lineup will include everything from sports and news to other entertaining options. Smaller packages may contain only 20-30 channels, but you can find larger packages with over 100 channels.
These streaming packages work a lot like cable packages, they just allow you the freedom to watch where you want at a lower price.
The main difference beyond a lower bill is that these services work by streaming through an Internet connection. You’ll also need the proper device to stream your favorite shows. The following devices are supported by all the services (see our reviews for more options):
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android mobile devices
- Apple TV
- iOS devices (iPhones, iPads)
- Roku devices
- Samsung smart TVs
- Web browsers.
Once you pick and sign up for a service, it will be easy to watch NHL without cable. So don’t stop now! Keep reading so you can learn more about the recommended services available to stream NHL without cable.
Fubo Lets You Watch Hockey Online All Season
When it comes to streaming live sports, it’s hard to beat Fubo (formerly FuboTV). This popular streaming service boasts over 150 channels, many of which offer local, national, and international sports.
For fans wanting to watch hockey online, Fubo offers regional sports networks in many US markets (see table above). They also provide ESPN, CBS Sports TV, and much more. For $7.99/mo more, you can get Fubo Extra, which gives you NHL Network and 47 other channels.
- $74.99/mo ($85.98/mo with one RSN and $88.98/mo with two or more)
- No contracts
- Over 150 channels
- Record NHL games and more with 1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage
- Stream on all the devices above plus Hisense, LG, and Vizio smart TVs as well as Xbox One gaming systems
- Our Fubo review has a whole lot more info.
The Fubo free trial is a great way to try it out and see if it’s right for you while you watch NHL online for free for a week!
DIRECTV STREAM Is the King of RSNs
To get good hockey coverage with DIRECTV STREAM, you need to step up to its Choice plan for $108.99/mo. But if you do, you should be very happy. They offer the RSNs associated with the vast majority of teams. In most cases, they are simply the only option.
Additionally, this plan comes with NHL Network, ESPN, TBS, TNT, and ABC. You should be able to see all the games you want this season.
The plan comes with only unlimited cloud DVR storage as long as you sign up online. But it allows you to stream on unlimited devices at once at home or away from home. So it’s a great package for large households.
See our DIRECTV STREAM review for all the details.
Hulu + Live TV is a Great Way to Watch NHL Without Cable
You can watch hockey online along with plenty of other sports and TV shows, thanks to Hulu + Live TV. Everything you need for hockey streaming, with the exception of NHL Network is available in its 85+ channel package.
This includes sports access for baseball, basketball, and other sports, as well as both local and network TV.
Hulu + Live TV also comes with Disney+ (ad-supported) and ESPN+. The latter is very important to NHL fans because it is the league’s out-of-market provider. So if you are a fan of a team outside your broadcast area, this is a great option.
Hulu Live is an affordable option that provides many of the channels you might have had with cable but for a cheaper price. Using Hulu + Live TV is simple. Most people will be able to figure things out in no time. It works on most streaming devices. Here are some added details:
- Offers 85+ channels of live TV and Hulu’s on-demand service (deal details)
- Costs just $76.99/mo
- No commitments – no contracts or termination fees
- Includes ESPN, TNT, TBS, ABC
- One of the top ways to watch sports without cable
- Stream on the devices listed above plus LG and Vizio smart TVs and the gaming systems Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch
Hulu + Live TV offers a large enough package to provide all kinds of entertainment. The only thing missing to watch NHL without cable is NHL Network. You can learn more with our Hulu + Live TV review.
ESPN+ for Out-of-Market NHL
NHL.TV used to provide access to all out-of-market (non-blackout) games — very much like MLB.TV or NBA League Pass. But it was shut down and largely moved to ESPN+, which now airs the vast majority of NHL games each season.
If you want access to the maximum number of games and you don’t live in the local market of the team you follow, this is a great way to do it. It should be mentioned that ESPN+ is a sports-only service. It doesn’t provide other kinds of channels or local channels. It doesn’t even provide the other ESPN channels.
But at $9.99/mo or $99.99/yr, it’s hard to beat. For all the details, see our ESPN+ review.
ESPN+ is going to be best for fans not living near their teams or diehard fans who want to watch as many games as possible and don’t mind if the local games won’t air in live stream. It’s actually a great addition to a complete cable replacement service like Fubo.
Other Ways to Watch NHL Without Cable
While the streaming services above are great options, other ways exist to watch hockey online without a cable subscription. Here are some of the other options out there that will allow you to watch NHL online.
- Sling TV: Sling Orange includes ESPN, TBS, and TNT for $40.00/mo. You can get NHL Network with the Sports Extra add-on for $11/mo more. Our NHL guide, Stanley Cup Playoff Schedule, 2023 Draft guide, and Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Guide have more details. If you’re also into college hockey, the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament is happening in late March/early April. Also see our Sling TV review.
- Vidgo: Offers 100+ channels including ABC and ESPN for $69.99/mo. Find out more in our Vidgo review.
- YouTube TV: Get 85+ channels including ABC, ESPN, and TNT for $72.99/mo. It does offer a handful of RSNs.
All of the services above are similar to Hulu Live and other streaming services. The differences are in price, number of devices you can stream on, and channel availability.
2023-24 NHL Season
The NHL preseason ran from Saturday, September 24th through October 8th. The regular runs from Tuesday, October 10th through Thursday, April 18th.
Regular Season Games
Here are the upcoming NHL games. When a game has no TV channel listed, it should appear on the team’s RSN in-market and ESPN+ out-of-market.
Monday, December 11
|Coyotes at Sabres|
|Maple Leafs at Islanders|
|Red Wings at Stars|
|Flames at Avalanche|
Tuesday, December 12
|Maple Leafs at Rangers|
|Hurricanes at Senators|
|Coyotes at Penguins|
|Red Wings at Blues||ESPN|
|Flyers at Predators|
|Blackhawks at Oilers||ESPN|
|Panthers at Kraken|
|Lightning at Canucks|
|Flames at Golden Knights|
|Jets at Sharks|
See our NHL Playoffs guide for up-to-date information about the 2023 postseason schedule.
That’s it! Those are the best ways that you can watch NHL without cable. As there is no real, legal option to watch hockey without cable, a streaming service will be required if you want to watch without a cable or satellite subscription.
You can learn more about streaming sports in our guide that details how to watch sports online. If you want to get rid of cable without sacrificing your favorite shows, we can help you find the service you need that won’t break the bank!
Fubo is our top pick for NHL fans. Fubo allows you to try out its service with a free trial.
What is NHL Live?
NHL Live was an out-of-market streaming package for NHL games for Canadian viewers. It has been discontinued and integrated with SportsNet Now, or more commonly, SN Now. It is more or less the ESPN+ of Canada. The base plan ($14.99/mo) only offers Canadian team broadcasts. The Premium plan ($34.99/mo) includes them all. They both provide MLB and NBA broadcasts. Note that blackout restrictions apply.
How do I watch the NHL playoffs?
We have pages for watching the NHL playoffs generally and the Stanley Cup finals:
Ditch “Big Cable” Now – 3 Simple Steps to Cut the Cord
- Pick the right streaming service
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- Supercharge your internet provider
That’s it — you’ll save money, take back control, and enjoy TV more!
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