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Rink-side Seats: How to Follow the 2023 NHL Playoff Schedule on Sling TV

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The Stanley Cup is over, so look for the NHL Draft June 28-29 — watch it on Sling TV!

The Stanley Cup playoffs are the highlight of the hockey season, and when NCAA Madness hits March and MLB Opening Day is here, you know the First Round is right around the corner. But the best news is that you can watch the whole NHL playoff schedule right on the lowest-cost cable replacement TV provider, Sling TV.

In a hurry? The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs will air on a combination of ESPN channels and Turner networks, with the Finals airing on TNT. If you want to watch all of the NHL Playoffs start to finish, you’ll need Sling Orange (also $40.00/mo) plus a couple of add-ons (specifically, the Comedy Extra for $6/mo and the Sports Extra for $11/mo).

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The pro hockey playoffs are almost here! While some spots have already been locked down, the remaining teams are in a pitched battle for the remaining slots. The underdogs face long odds, but with several games left in the regular season, the race is far from over.

The postseason schedule hasn’t been finalized yet, but there are some things we do know, and we’ll update as we know more. Let’s start with the dates we’ve got so far.

NHL Playoff Format: Four Rounds

The Stanley Cup playoffs are played in four rounds of best-of-seven contests. The broadcast rights are shared by ESPN and Turner Broadcasting (for the second year running), so each round has its own agreement on which channels it airs on.

The playoffs run for about six weeks, starting Monday, April 17 and ending with the Stanley Cup Final beginning June 3. Because they’re played best-of-seven, only four games in any matchup series are guaranteed.

Eight teams from each Conference compete, the top three in each of the four Division standings, and two wildcards from each Conference.

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First Round

Also known as the conference quarterfinals, the first round, typical of any tournament, is the longest. The No. 1 seed goes up against the No. 8 seed, the 2-seed against the 7-seed, 3-seed versus 6-seed, and Nos. 4 and 5, for a total of eight series. Each series is potentially seven games long, so this round can go for up to 56 games.

Games will air primarily on ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, or TNT. One Saturday night game per week will air on ABC. If overflow coverage is needed, some games may get pushed to ESPNU, ESPNews, truTV, or other ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery channels.

Second Round

Eight teams remain for the conference semifinals, four from each conference, making for four series and potentially 28 total games. These matchups will be primarily broadcast on ESPN or TNT, with overflow again going to other ESPN or Turner channels if necessary.

NHL Playoffs Schedule Round 1 Game 3 2010 - Redwings vs Coyotes
Redwings vs Coyotes, Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Game 3 2010 / taken by jpowers65 under CC BY-ND 2.0 via Flickr

Conference Finals

Now down to four teams in two matches, one for each conference, this round determines the Stanley Cup Final teams. ABC/ESPN has first pick of which Conference Final they wish to broadcast, and TNT will broadcast the other one.

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Stanley Cup Finals

The Championship series is one last best-of-seven contest between the Eastern Conference champion and the Western Conference champion. The winner receives the coveted Stanley Cup.

The Finals will take place in June — speculative dates range from June 3 to June 18. The 2023 Stanley Cup Finals will be on TNT (the rights rotate between TNT and ESPN, so in 2024, they’ll be on ESPN).

The Current Playoff Picture

The Eastern Conference consists of the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions. The two Eastern wildcard teams are the New York Islanders and the Florida Panthers.

The Atlantic Division Boston Bruins were the first to grab a spot at the playoff table, and are favored to take the Cup. The other two Atlantic teams will be the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In the Metropolitan Division, the Carolina Hurricanes, the New Jersey Devils, and the New York Rangers are Playoff-bound.

The Western Conference has the Central and Pacific Divisions. The two wildcard teams from the West are the Seattle Kraken and the Winnipeg Jets.

For the Central Division, the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, and defending champs Colorado Avalanche confirmed to play for the Cup.

And the Pacific Division will be represented by the Vegas Golden Knights, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Los Angeles Kings.

How to Watch the NHL Playoff on Sling TV

Sling TV has two base plans: Sling Orange and Sling Blue. They share most channels, but Sling Orange has ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3 (which simulcasts ABC sports). Sling Blue has more news, Fox, and NBC channels.

Both plans carry TBS and TNT. Sling Blue includes truTV as well, but you can also get the third Turner network with Sling Orange in the Comedy Extra. But the only way to get the ESPN channels is with Sling Orange.

Sling Orange, however, only includes ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. If you want ESPNews or ESPNU, you need the Orange Sports Extra, which adds about 14 additional sports networks to your lineup for an additional $11/mo.

This may all sound complicated, but the bottom line is that you can watch every single NHL Playoff game this spring for about $57/mo — and just $37 for your first month. Those same channels will run you at least $70 on any other streaming service.

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Stanley Cup Playoff Schedule

Only the schedule for the First Round has been released, but we have the whole thing, including where to watch each game. Note that while ABC sporting events are usually simulcast on ESPN3, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are not.

  • Monday, April 17 (Round 1, Game 1)
    • : New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes (ESPN2)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins (ESPN)
    • : Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars (ESPN2)
    • : Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers (ESPN)
  • Tuesday, April 18 (Round 1, Game 1)
    • : New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils (TBS)
    • : Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs (ESPN)
    • : Winnipeg Jets vs Vegas Golden Knights (ESPN2)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche (ESPN)
  • Wednesday, April 19 (Round 1, Game 2)
    • : New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes (ESPN2)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins (ESPN)
    • : Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars (ESPN2)
    • : Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers (ESPN)
  • Thursday, April 20 (Round 1, Game 2)
    • : Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs (ESPN)
    • : New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils (TBS)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche (ESPN)
    • : Winnipeg Jets vs Vegas Golden Knights (TBS)
  • Friday, April 21 (Round 1, Game 3)
    • : New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes (TBS)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins (TNT)
    • : Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars (TBS)
    • : Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers (TNT)
  • Saturday, April 22 (Round 1, Game 3)
    • : Winnipeg Jets vs Vegas Golden Knights (TBS)
    • : Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs (TBS)
    • : New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils (ABC)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche (TBS)
  • Sunday, April 23 (Round 1, Game 4)
    • : New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes (TNT)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins (TNT)
    • : Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars (TBS)
    • : Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers (TBS)
  • Monday, April 24 (Round 1, Game 4)
    • : New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils (ESPN)
    • : Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs (TBS)
    • : Winnipeg Jets vs Vegas Golden Knights (ESPN)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche (TBS)
  • Tuesday, April 25 (Round 1, Game 5)
    • : New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes (ESPN)
    • : Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars (TBS)
    • : Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers (ESPN)
  • Wednesday, April 26 (Round 1, Game 5)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins (ESPN)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche (ESPN)
  • Thursday, April 27 (Round 1, Game 5)
    • : Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs (TBS)
    • : New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils (ESPN2)*
    • : Winnipeg Jets vs Vegas Golden Knights (ESPN2)
  • Friday, April 28 (Round 1, Game 6)
    • : New York Islanders vs Carolina Hurricanes (TBS)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Boston Bruins (TNT)
    • : Minnesota Wild vs Dallas Stars (TBS)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche (TNT)
  • Saturday, April 29 (Round 1, Game 6)
    • : Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs (TBS)
    • : New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils (ABC)
    • : Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers (TBS)
  • Sunday, April 30 (Round 1, Game 7)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Colorado Avalanche (TNT)
  • Monday, May 1 (Round 1, Game 7)
    • : New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils (ESPN)

Semifinals

  • Tuesday, May 2 (Round 2, Game 1)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Toronto Maple Leafs (ESPN)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Dallas Stars (ESPN)
  • Wednesday, May 3 (Round 2, Game 1)
    • : New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes (ESPN)
    • : Edmonton Oilers vs Vegas Golden Knights (ESPN)
  • Thursday, May 4 (Round 2, Game 2)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Toronto Maple Leafs (TNT)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Dallas Stars (TNT)
  • Friday, May 5 (Round 2, Game 2)
    • : New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes (TNT)
  • Saturday, May 6 (Round 2, Game 2)
  • Sunday, May 7 (Round 2, Game 3)
    • : Carolina Hurricanes vs New Jersey Devils (TBS)
    • : Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers (TBS)
    • : Dallas Stars vs Seattle Kraken (TBS)
  • Monday, May 8 (Round 2, Game 3)
    • : Vegas Golden Knights vs Edmonton Oilers (ESPN)
  • Tuesday, May 9 (Round 2, Game 4)
    • : Carolina Hurricanes vs New Jersey Devils (ESPN)
    • : Dallas Stars vs Seattle Kraken (ESPN)
  • Wednesday, May 10 (Round 2, Game 4)
    • : Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers (ESPN)
    • : Vegas Golden Knights vs Edmonton Oilers (ESPN)
  • Thursday, May 11 (Round 2, Game 5)
    • : New Jersey Devils vs Carolina Hurricanes (TNT)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Dallas Stars (TNT)
  • Friday, May 12 (Round 2, Game 5)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Toronto Maple Leafs (TNT)
    • : Edmonton Oilers vs Vegas Golden Knights (TNT)
  • Saturday, May 13 (Round 2, Game 6)
    • : Dallas Stars vs Seattle Kraken (ESPN)
  • Sunday, May 14 (Round 2, Game 6)
    • : Vegas Golden Knights vs Edmonton Oilers
  • Monday, May 15 (Round 2, Game 7)
    • : Seattle Kraken vs Dallas Stars (ESPN)
  • Thursday, May 18 (Conference Final, Game 1)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes (TNT)
  • Friday, May 19 (Conference Final, Game 1)
    • : Dallas Stars vs Vegas Golden Knights (ESPN)
  • Saturday, May 20 (Conference Final, Game 2)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Carolina Hurricanes (TNT)
  • Sunday, May 21 (Conference Final, Game 2)
    • : Dallas Stars vs Vegas Golden Knights (ABC)
  • Monday, May 22 (Conference Final, Game 3)
    • : Carolina Hurricanes vs Florida Panthers (TNT)
  • Tuesday, May 23 (Conference Final, Game 3)
    • : Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars (ESPN)
  • Wednesday, May 24 (Conference Final, Game 4)
    • : Carolina Hurricanes vs Florida Panthers (TNT)
  • Thursday, May 25 (Conference Final, Game 4)
    • : Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars (ESPN)
  • Saturday, May 27 (Conference Final, Game 5)
    • : Dallas Stars vs Vegas Golden Knights (ABC)
  • Monday, May 29 (Conference Final, Game 6)
    • : Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars (ESPN)
  • Saturday, Jun 3 (Stanley Cup Final, Game 1)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Vegas Golden Knights (TNT)
  • Monday, Jun 5 (Stanley Cup Final, Game 2)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Vegas Golden Knights (TNT)
  • Thursday, Jun 8 (Stanley Cup Final, Game 3)
    • : Vegas Golden Knights vs Florida Panthers (TNT)
  • Saturday, Jun 10 ( Stanley Cup Final, Game 4)
    • : Vegas Golden Knights vs Florida Panthers (TNT)
  • Tuesday, Jun 13 (Stanley Cup Final, Game 5)
    • : Florida Panthers vs Vegas Golden Knights (TNT)

Semifinals are tentatively scheduled to begin May 2, with the Finals starting June 3.

Wrapping Up

So if you have a passion for puck-pelting Playoffs, sign up for Sling Orange and watch the fight for the Stanley Cup for less! Save 50% on Sling TV now!

FAQ

Which teams didn’t make the playoffs?

The following NHL teams did not make the Playoffs this year:

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

  • Calgary Flames
  • Nashville Predators
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • San Jose Sharks
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Anaheim Ducks

Page Updates

  1. Changed a few bits of content. Reformatting.

  2. Pricing updates. Misc changes. Formatting changes.

  3. Added sub-section. Updated some section headings. Added some links. Various changes.

  4. Changes to some of the sections.

Alanna Baker
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