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2023 NHL Playoffs live stream: how to watch the games for free

The quest for the Stanley Cup begins tonight with the start of the 2023 NHL Playoffs, also known as the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In the Eastern Conference, the top-seeded Boston Bruins are the favorites to hoist the cup after notching an NHL-record 65 wins in the regular season. In the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche are in a great position to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions as the No. 1 seed.

All 16 teams will play their opening round game on April 17 or April 18. The 2023 NHL Playoffs will be broadcast on various networks because of the NHL’s media rights deal with Disney and WarnerMedia. Find out how to watch all the action below.

2023 NHL Playoffs bracket

A picture of the bracket for the NHL Playoffs.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The opening round of the 2023 NHL Playoffs begins with four games each on April 17 and April 18. Each round will be a best-of-7 series.

April 17

  • No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 New York Islanders, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

  • No. 1 Boston Bruins vs. No. 4 Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

  • No. 2 Dallas Stars vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

  • No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Kings, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN

April 18

  • No. 2 New Jersey Devils vs. No. 3 New York Rangers, 7 p.m. ET, TBS

  • No. 2 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

  • No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 Winnipeg Jets, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

  • No. 1 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 4 Seattle Kraken, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN

Watch the 2023 NHL Playoffs live stream on ESPN and ESPN2

First-round games will be available on ESPN and ESPN2, with 13 games being aired on these two networks over the first four days of the playoffs starting April 17. ESPN’s NHL studio show, The Point, will air regularly before the games and feature host Steve Levy and Arda Öcal, along with with ESPN’s hockey analysts Mark Messier, Chris Chelios, and P.K. Subban. The postgame show at the end of the night will air on ESPN+. Log in with your cable provider for access.

Watch 2023 NHL Playoffs live stream on ESPN

Watch the 2023 NHL Playoffs live stream on TNT and TBS

The NHL Playoffs will air live on TNT and TBS. If you are watching on mobile devices, tablets, or connected TVs, the games are available through the TNT app, TBS App, TNT’s website, and TBS’s website. Before, during, and after each game, Turner’s studio show will include host Liam McHugh alongside a group of analysts, including Wayne Gretzky, Henrik Lundqvist, Anson Carter, Paul Bissonnette, and Keith Yandle. Log in with your cable provider to watch the games.

Watch 2023 NHL Playoffs live stream on TNT

Watch the 2023 NHL Playoffs live stream on Hulu with Live TV

Hulu on Apple TV.
Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

If you do not have cable, ESPN and TNT can be accessed through Hulu with Live TV. There are two price plans for Hulu with Live TV, and both packages include Disney+ and ESPN+. The cheaper package costs $70 per month and features Hulu (with ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (with ads), and ESPN+ (with ads). The more expensive package costs $83 per month and includes Hulu (no ads) + Live TV, Disney+ (no ads), and ESPN+ (with ads). The bundle provides users with hockey coverage, Marvel movies like Avengers: Endgame and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Hulu programs, like The Dropout and Dopesick.

Watch the 2023 NHL Playoffs live stream on Sling TV

Sling TV app icon on Apple TV.
Digital Trends

If you subscribe to Sling TV, you’re in luck because the hockey playoffs will be available to stream on the service. There are different packages to choose from (Orange and Blue) that range in monthly pricing from $40 to $60. For NHL Fans, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT can all be accessed on Sling TV. You can also watch other entertainment and news channels on Sling TV, including CNN, Fox, MTV, Food Network, Disney Channel, and Discovery.

Watch the 2023 NHL Playoffs live stream on YouTube TV

The updated YouTube TV live guide.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

YouTube TV is on the rise because it broadcasts over 100 channels of live TV, such as ESPN, TNT, MSNBC, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. For football fans, NFL Sunday Ticket, a must-have for fans who want to watch every single game, will be available for purchase this fall. New subscribers will only pay $63 for the first three months of YouTube TV before it increases to its normal rate of $73 per month.

If you want to experience YouTube TV, sign up for a FREE trial and see what the service is all about.

Watch the 2023 NHL Playoffs live stream on Fubo TV

FuboTV icon on Apple TV.

With Fubo TV, subscribers will have access to over 100 live channels with no hidden fees or contracts at sign-up. Users can subscribe to four packages: Pro, $75 per month; Elite, $85 per month; Premiere, $95 per month; and a special Latino package for $33 per month. Fubo TV feels like cable because of its channel package. Users can watch hockey on ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and TBS, as well as enjoy other sports, news, and entertainment channels, including Freeform, USA, TLC, HGTV, CNBC, and FS1.

Subscribers can sign up for a FREE trial and cancel anytime without penalty.

Watch the 2023 NHL Playoffs live stream from abroad with a VPN

NordVPN running on a MacBook Pro.

If you like hockey, but you’re currently outside of the U.S., make sure to use a VPN, or virtual private network, to stream the NHL Playoffs. A service like NordVPN will make streaming the NHL playoffs a lot easier. Nord VPN offers a 30-day money guarantee for new users, so there’s no penalty to try it.

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