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Rink-side Seats: How to Follow the 2024 NHL Playoff Schedule on Sling TV

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The Stanley Cup playoffs are the highlight of the hockey season, and after NCAA Madness hits March, 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 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs will air on a combination of ESPN channels and Turner networks, with the Finals airing on ABC. 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 Entertainment Extra for $6/mo and the Sports Extra for $11/mo), plus a free antenna from Sling.

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The pro hockey playoffs are here! The first series is well underway, and we’ve got your game day schedule right here.

NHL Playoff Format: Four Rounds

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

This year, the NHL Playoffs and the NBA Playoffs started on the same day, which has caused a few channel conflicts. See below for an overview by round, or you can skip straight to the schedule.

The postseason runs for about six weeks, starting Saturday, April 20 and ending with the Stanley Cup Final beginning June 10. 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. Seeding is based on regular season rankings. 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 first-round series can potentially go all the way to Game 7, 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 10 to June 25. The 2024 Stanley Cup Finals will be on ABC (the rights rotate between TNT and ESPN, so in 2025, they’ll be on TNT/TBS).

What Teams Are in the NHL Playoffs in 2024?

The Eastern Conference consists of the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions. The two Eastern wildcard teams are the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals.

The New York Rangers of the Metropolitan Division were the first to grab a spot in the NHL playoff bracket, and also lifted the Presidents’ Trophy. The other two Metropolitan teams will be the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders.

In the Atlantic Division, the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Division Champs Florida Panthers are Playoff-bound.

The Western Conference has the Central and Pacific Divisions. The two wildcard teams from the West are the Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights (the Stanley Cup champions of last year).

For the Central Division, the Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche are confirmed to play for the Cup.

And the Pacific Division will be represented by the Vancouver Canucks, 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 Entertainment Extra add-on. 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.

And this year, it’s ESPN/ABC’s turn to air the final, and they’re putting it on ABC. Some of the biggest media markets in the country can get the local ABC affiliate as part of their Sling Blue package (which would mean you would need Sling Orange + Blue + Sports Extra).

Or you can go with your original Sling Orange plan and take advantage of Sling TV’s unique offer of a free antenna, which would get you free ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and more forever.

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, maybe less your first month. Those same channels will run you at least $76.99/mo on any other streaming service.

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2024 NHL Playoff Schedule

This is the schedule for playoff matchups for the next week. Note that while ABC sporting events are usually simulcast on ESPN3, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are not.

DateTime (ET)TeamsTV
Tue Jun 188:00 pmEdmonton Oilers vs Florida Panthers‡ABC
Fri Jun 218:00 pmEdmonton Oilers vs Florida Panthers‡ABC
Mon Jun 248:00 pmEdmonton Oilers vs Florida Panthers‡ABC

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

  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Detroit Red Wings
  • Montreal Canadiens
  • New Jersey Devils
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Philadelphia Flyers
  • Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Anaheim Ducks
  • Calgary Flames
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Minnesota Wild
  • San Jose Sharks
  • Seattle Kraken
  • St Louis Blues

Page Updates

  1. Updated for 2024

  2. Changed a few bits of content. Reformatting.

  3. Pricing updates. Misc changes. Formatting changes.

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

  5. Changes to some of the sections.

Alanna Baker
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