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NHL Playoffs Online: When & How to Watch Hockey Finals Cheaper Without Cable

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The 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs Conference Finals are here! Watch it all with Sling TV!

Just like the regular season, cord-cutters can watch the entire NHL postseason without a cable or satellite TV subscription. It started Saturday, April 20th, 2024. Read on to learn all your options.

In a hurry? Here are three popular streaming services that give you access to the necessary channels to watch the NHL playoffs without cable:

  • DIRECTV STREAM: Get a great channel lineup with the best selection of RSNs in the industry. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
  • Sling TV: This low-cost service allows you to select just the channel lineup you want. Save 50% on Sling TV now.
  • 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.

In a hurry? Unfortunately, we don’t know a streaming service in that offers this TV channel/sport. 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 sports, movies, and TV you deserve. You need a VPN, like one of the following.


1. ExpressVPN: Established VPN provider in 105 countries. Smart DNS, a built-in ad-blocker, and unlimited bandwidth. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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3. Private Internet Access: The only no-logs VPN with a location for every US state. Get 82% off + 2 months free.

If you’re overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, you’ll find all the answers in our full VPN guide.

Even though you’re going to need a few channels to do it, everything you need to watch the NHL playoffs online is available without cable. So, whether you’ve cut the cord recently or you’re just thinking about it, read on to discover all of the ways you can watch the NHL playoffs without cable.

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Today’s NHL Playoff Games

DateTime (ET)TeamsTV
Fri May 248:00 pmPanthers vs RangersESPN/ESPN+

2024 NHL Playoff Channels

The official schedule for the NHL Playoffs games live stream have not yet been released. But the broadcasting rights are the same as they have been the last two years, and other are three TV channels that you will need.

The networks that air the NHL playoffs are ABC, ESPN, and TNT. Some of these channels are easier to find than others. But they are all available without cable.

TNT will be airing the Stanley Cup Finals alone. This is the first time the channel has done this — and the first time it has aired solely on a “cable” channel since 1994 when ESPN carried it alone.

Here’s a quick overview of which streaming services offer channels that will show NHL Playoffs games in the US:

† Sling Orange includes ESPN3, which normally simulcasts all ABC Sports events live but in the case of the NHL playoffs, they are being moved to ESPN+. Sling Blue offers ABC in select markets, so you can get it that way with the Sling Orange & Blue plan.

Sling TV is the cheapest option to catch the NHL Playoffs. If that is your only concern, it’s the way to go. If you care about the NHL regular season and other sports, you might want to look elsewhere.

Sign up now for Sling Orange to be ready for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Final! Complete First Round schedule available too!

If you are a fan of your local NHL team, DIRECTV STREAM is the best bet because it provides the RSNs (regional sports networks) that will bring you nearly every game of the season. Any blackouts in your area will appear on your local RSN. Hulu + Live TV does the same but for out-of-market hockey fans who don’t live in the broadcast area of their favorite team.

Read on to find out which other streaming services offer all the channels you need.

With an antenna, you should be able to watch hockey games that are broadcast on ABC. And that includes every game of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Other than that, the streaming services listed below are going to be the only way to watch the NHL playoffs online.

FuboTV New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils on MSG Network via Fubo.

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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.

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Other brands worth checking out include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost.

How to Live Stream the 2024 NHL Playoffs

The hardest part about streaming the NHL playoffs without cable is making sure you have access to all of the channels you need. Luckily, there are a few streaming services that provide access to each of the required channels, so you’d be able to watch the NHL playoffs online through one app.

The good news is that you don’t need more than one streaming service to watch the playoffs because there’s an option that has all channels in a single plan. To get you started, see the summary below of the streaming service plans that might work for you to catch the playoffs this year.

  • Sling TV: The cheapest choice to watch all of the NHL Playoff games in 2024. For $40.00/mo, you can get Sling Orange, which features ESPN, TNT, and the underappreciated ESPN3 that simulcasts most games broadcast by ABC Sports (but sadly not the NHL playoffs this year). It’s not the best service for the regular season but it’s an awesome deal for the playoffs. The plan comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR storage but you are limited to a single stream. (Sling TV review, NHL playoffs on Sling TV, NHL playoff schedule on Sling TV)
  • DIRECTV STREAM: This is our top choice for NHL fans because it allows you to watch pretty much every game of the regular season via its vast selection of RSNs. But it’s also a top choice for the playoffs with ABC, ESPN, and TNT. You can get all that with its base (Entertainment) plan for $79.99/mo. But to get the RSNs, you need to upgrade to the Choice plan for $108.99/mo. This also includes many other sports channels including MLB Network and NBA TV. All plans come with unlimited cloud DVR storage and streaming on unlimited devices at once. (DIRECTV STREAM review)
  • Hulu + Live TV: Starts with the outstanding Hulu on-demand library and adds 100+ live TV channels. And then it tops it off with Disney+ and ESPN+ — all for $76.99/mo. This includes ABC, ESPN, and TNT as well as Fox Sports (FS1, FS2), CBS Sports Network, NFL Network, and more. But during the regular season, it’s ESPN+ that really shines, offering most out-of-market games live. The plan comes with unlimited cloud DVR and streaming on up to two devices. (Hulu + Live TV review)
  • Fubo: Most known for its live sports coverage, it’s an excellent service for $79.99/mo. And it is great for the regular NHL season because it provides the RSNs for every US-based NHL team. But its 150+ channel lineup does not include TNT (or any of the Turner channels like TBS and TCM), so you will miss out on many playoff games although you will get to watch all of the Stanley Cup finals, which are on ABC. All plans come with 1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage and streaming on up to 10 devices. (Fubo review)
  • YouTube TV: Provides a similar plan to Hulu + Live TV that will allow you to watch all the NHL playoffs for $72.99/mo.

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FuboTV Local Channels
Under the Guide tab in the Fubo interface, you can filter so you see only the local stations that are part of your plan.

Choosing a Streaming Service

Each streaming service offers one or more plans with a number of channels. These can be supplemented with add-ons. For example, Sling TV is more customizable than any of the other services but it also offers the fewest channels in its base plan.

Now let’s look at how such streaming services are different from conventional cable deals:

  • Contract vs No Contract: Cable and satellite companies have reduced their prices to compete with streaming services. But generally you have to sign up with a multi-year contract to get the same prices.
  • Add-On Fees vs Base Fee: Avoid rental and equipment charges. And get extras like DVRs for free.
  • Useful Extras: Both cable and streaming services allow you to add additional channels to your package. Streaming services offer on-demand libraries that allow you to view previously aired content, but some cable packages allow that, as well.

Otherwise, the process is how it’s always been. Just tune into the channel you want to watch and enjoy the show!

Save 50% on Sling TV Now

Streaming Devices to Watch NHL Playoffs

The popular devices in wide use today are supported by most of the live TV streaming services we’ve discussed:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android mobile
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • iOS devices (eg, iPhone)
  • Roku
  • Samsung Smart TVs
  • Web browsers
  • Xbox.

There is a minor exception: DIRECTV STREAM doesn’t support Xbox.

Our streaming reviews provide complete lists of supported devices. There are many we haven’t mentioned here. One of note is that Hulu supports the PlayStation.

hulu picture in picture
Picture-in-picture with Hulu + Live TV.

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.

2024 NHL Playoffs

The top three teams are seeded from four divisions, namely, the Central, Pacific, Atlantic, and Metropolitan. There are also 4 wild card teams. These are the top two teams in each conference that were not already in the playoffs. In each matchup of the first two rounds, the team with the best record competes with the team with the worst, and so on.

The tournament itself is split into four segments:

  • First Round
  • Second Round
  • Conference Final
  • Stanley Cup Final

Each round consists of a best-of-seven series structure. The higher-placed team gets the home-ice advantage in games 1, 2, 5, and 7. The lower-placed team gets the home-ice advantage in games 3, 4, and 6.

2024 NHL Playoff Teams

The final NHL playoffs teams are set.

Here are the teams that have been eliminated:

2024 NHL Playoffs Schedule

The 2024 NHL playoffs will start on Saturday, April 20th. We will have all the details as they become available. Thus far, we don’t know the teams, but we do know the dates, times, and channels of each of the first four games of each matchup for the first round.

DateTime (ET)TeamsTV
Sat Apr 205:00 pmIslanders vs HurricanesTBS/truTV
Sat Apr 208:00 pmMaple Leafs vs BruinsTBS/truTV
Sun Apr 2112:30 pmLightning vs PanthersESPN
Sun Apr 213:00 pmCapitals vs RangersESPN
Sun Apr 217:00 pmAvalanche vs JetsESPN2
Sun Apr 2110:00 pmPredators vs CanucksESPN
Mon Apr 227:00 pmMaple Leafs vs BruinsESPN
Mon Apr 227:30 pmIslanders vs HurricanesESPN2
Mon Apr 229:30 pmGolden Knights vs StarsESPN
Mon Apr 2210:00 pmKings vs OilersESPN2
Tue Apr 237:00 pmCapitals vs RangersESPN
Tue Apr 237:30 pmLightning vs PanthersESPN2
Tue Apr 239:30 pmAvalanche vs JetsESPN
Tue Apr 2310:00 pmPredators vs CanucksESPN2
Wed Apr 247:00 pmBruins vs Maple LeafsESPN
Wed Apr 249:30 pmGolden Knights vs StarsESPN
Wed Apr 2410:00 pmKings vs OilersTBS
Thu Apr 257:00 pmPanthers vs LightningTBS
Thu Apr 257:30 pmHurricanes vs IslandersESPN2
Fri Apr 267:00 pmRangers vs CapitalsTNT/truTV
Fri Apr 267:30 pmCanucks vs PredatorsTBS
Fri Apr 2610:00 pmJets vs AvalancheTNT/truTV
Fri Apr 2610:30 pmOilers vs KingsTBS
Sat Apr 272:00 pmHurricanes vs IslandersTBS
Sat Apr 275:00 pmPanthers vs LightningTBS
Sat Apr 278:00 pmBruins vs Maple LeafsTBS
Sat Apr 2710:30 pmStars vs Golden KnightsTBS
Sun Apr 282:30 pmJets vs AvalancheTNT/truTV
Sun Apr 285:00 pmCanucks vs PredatorsTBS
Sun Apr 288:00 pmRangers vs CapitalsTBS
Sun Apr 2810:30 pmOilers vs KingsTBS
Mon Apr 297:00 pmLightning vs PanthersESPN
Mon Apr 299:30 pmStars vs Golden KnightsESPN
Tue Apr 307:00 pmMaple Leafs vs BruinsESPN
Tue Apr 307:30 pmIslanders vs HurricanesTBS
Tue Apr 309:30 pmAvalanche vs JetsESPN
Tue Apr 3010:00 pmPredators vs CanucksTBS
Wed May 17:30 pmGolden Knights vs StarsESPN
Wed May 110:00 pmKings vs OilersESPN
Thu May 28:00 pmBruins vs Maple LeafsTBS
Fri May 37:00 pmCanucks vs PredatorsTNT
Fri May 310:00 pmStars vs Golden KnightsTNT
Sat May 48:00 pmMaple Leafs vs BruinsABC
Sun May 54:00 pmHurricanes vs RangersESPN
Sun May 57:30 pmGolden Knights vs StarsTBS/truTV
Mon May 68:00 pmBruins vs PanthersESPN
Tue May 77:00 pmHurricanes vs RangersESPN
Tue May 79:30 pmAvalanche vs StarsESPN
Wed May 87:30 pmPanthers vs BruinsESPN
Wed May 810:00 pmCanucks vs OilersESPN
Thu May 97:00 pmRangers vs HurricanesTNT
Thu May 99:30 pmStars vs AvalancheTNT
Fri May 107:00 pmPanthers vs BruinsTNT
Fri May 1010:00 pmCanucks vs OilersTNT
Sat May 117:00 pmStars vs AvalancheTNT
Sat May 117:00 pmRangers vs HurricanesTNT
Sun May 126:30 pmPanthers vs BruinsTBS
Sun May 127:00 pmCanucks vs OilersTBS
Mon May 137:00 pmRangers vs HurricanesESPN
Mon May 139:30 pmStars vs AvalancheESPN
Tue May 147:00 pmPanthers vs BruinsESPN
Tue May 149:30 pmCanucks vs OilersESPN
Wed May 158:00 pmStars vs AvalancheESPN
Thu May 167:00 pmRangers vs HurricanesTNT
Thu May 1610:00 pmCanucks vs OilersTNT
Fri May 177:00 pmPanthers vs BruinsTNT/truTV
Fri May 1710:00 pmStars vs AvalancheTNT/truTV
Sat May 18TBDCanucks vs OilersESPN
Mon May 209:00 pmCanucks vs OilersESPN
Wed May 228:00 pmPanthers vs RangersESPN/ESPN+
Thu May 238:30 pmOilers vs StarsTNT/truTV
Fri May 248:00 pmPanthers vs RangersESPN/ESPN+
Sat May 258:00 pmOilers vs StarsTNT/truTV
Sun May 263:00 pmRangers vs PanthersABC/ESPN+
Mon May 278:30 pmStars vs OilersTNT/truTV
Tue May 288:00 pmRangers vs PanthersESPN/ESPN+
Wed May 298:30 pmStars vs OilersTNT/truTV
Thu May 308:00 pmPanthers vs Rangers‡ESPN/ESPN+
Fri May 31TBDOilers vs StarsTNT/truTV
Sat Jun 18:00 pmPanthers vs Rangers‡ABC/ESPN+
Sun Jun 2TBDStars vs OilersTNT/truTV

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New York Islanders vs Florida Panthers
New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers – March 24, 2013 by Doug Kerr under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Wrapping Up

The NHL playoffs are coming and you can watch it all without cable. In fact, you can watch some of it for free without an antenna. Otherwise, you have many streaming options to choose from.

Sling TV is our top choice for the NFL playoffs. Save 50% on your first month of Sling TV.

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How can I watch the NHL playoffs in Canada?

Canadian hockey fans who live near the US border may be able to pick up games that air on ABC. But in general, they should sign up for NHL LIVE. This streaming service provides access to most games throughout the season and all of the playoffs. It is $29.99/mo or $74.99 for the end of the regular season and all the playoffs.

Do I need NHL Network to watch the playoffs?

You do not need NHL Network to watch the playoffs. According to the official event schedule, the NHL Playoff games will air entirely on ABC, ESPN, and TNT. Most of the games will air on TNT. But all of the Stanley Cup finals will appear on ABC, so you should be able to watch with an antenna.

When do the NHL playoffs start?

The 2024 NHL playoffs start on April 20th. But we can’t say much more about it. Unlike other leagues, the actual schedule depends on how the teams perform. The entire Stanley Cup playoffs can take much less time if all the series end early. It’s a nice system for fans but it does make planning harder.

How do the NHL playoffs work?

The NHL playoffs consist of four separate rounds and a total of 16 teams from four divisions. Teams are seeded based on their performance in the Central, Pacific, Atlantic, and Metropolitan divisions as well as the top two remaining teams in each conference. Then, they play a best-of-seven series of games, right up until the final.

How do I watch the NHL without cable?

You can watch the NHL without cable on several sports channels via online streaming services. In the instance of the NHL playoffs, you need TNT, ESPN, and ABC. All of these channels are widely available via streaming services and ABC can be viewed for free via antenna in most areas.

Can I watch the NHL playoffs on Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime does not support the necessary live channels for you to watch the NHL playoffs. It is an on-demand service like Netflix. At best, Amazon Prime will have historical recordings of past NHL seasons where you may be able to stream classic Stanley Cup bouts on-demand. However, Amazon is changing and now shows live football so stay tuned!

Can I watch the NHL playoffs on Hulu?

You cannot watch the NHL playoffs on Hulu’s iconic on-demand service. You can, however, watch the NHL playoffs with Hulu + Live TV. It gives you access to 100+ channels, including ABC, ESPN, and TNT for $76.99/mo. You can also stream the games in a picture-in-picture mode and browse other channels.

What were the results of the 2023 NHL finals?

Round One

  • Seattle Kraken (4) vs Colorado Avalanche (3)
  • Minnesota Wild (2) vs Dallas Stars (4)
  • Los Angeles Kings (2) vs Edmonton Oilers (4)
  • Winnipeg Jets (1) vs Vegas Golden Knights (4)
  • New York Rangers (3) vs New Jersey Devils (4)
  • New York Islanders (2) vs Carolina Hurricanes (4)
  • Tampa Bay Lightnight (2) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (4)
  • Florida Panthers (4) vs Boston Bruins (3)

Round Two

  • Seattle Kraken (3) vs Dallas Stars (4)
  • Edmonton Oilers (2) vs Vegas Golden Knights (4)
  • New Jersey Devils (1) vs Carolina Hurricanes (4)
  • Florida Panthers (4) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (1)

Conference Finals

  • Dallas Stars (2) vs Vegas Golden Knights (4)
  • Florida Panthers (4) vs Carolina Hurricanes (0)

Stanley Cup Finals

  • Florida Panthers (1) vs Golden Knights (4)

The games ended as follows:

  • Sat Jun 3 : Panthers (2) at Golden Knights (5) (TNT)
  • Mon Jun 5 : Panthers (2) at Golden Knights (7) (TNT)
  • Thu Jun 8 : Golden Knights (2) at Panthers (3) (TNT)
  • Sat Jun 10 : Golden Knights (3) at Panthers (2) (TNT)
  • Tue Jun 13 : Panthers (3) at Golden Knights (9) (TNT)

Ditch “Big Cable” Now – 3 Simple Steps to Cut the Cord

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  2. Get the content you deserve with the best VPN.
  3. Supercharge your internet provider

That’s it — you’ll save money, take back control, and enjoy TV more!

Page Updates

  1. Added first round schedule and updated teams that have made the playoffs.

  2. Image changes. Linking. Misc content updates.

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  4. Added buttons for streaming services. Added sub-section. Reworked one section. Updated some sub-sections. Image changes. Cleaned up list.

  5. Added info about guide. Misc content updates. Changes to formatting.

  6. Pricing updates. Misc content updates. Formatting changes.

  7. Mentioned channel info. Cross linking. Various changes to content.

  8. Added sub-section. Added links to streaming services. Mentioned channel info. Changed some content in main section. Updates to a section. Reworked one section. Deleted unneeded sub-section.

  9. Updates to a section. Added some more links.

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