How to watch the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs online for free without cable

Here are the best ways to watch:

Much to my dismay as a Capitals fan, the fight for the Stanley Cup is on. The first round of the 2023 NHL playoffs began last week after a record-setting season.

The Boston Bruins surprised everyone with a historic 135-point season (and, of course, the Presidents Trophy), breaking the record for most points and most wins.(opens in a new tab) in a single season. But that doesn’t mean they’re a Stanley Cup goal. Hockey fans know that anything can happen in the NHL playoffs. Will the underdog Florida Panthers knock them out in the first round? Will the Las Vegas Golden Knights or the Seattle Kraken get their first Cup? Everything is at stake.

If you want to witness the excitement (and frustration) of playoff hockey live, here’s everything you need to know.

When are the playoffs?

The first round began on April 17 with a matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Islanders. Teams generally play every other day, with games scheduled through May 1 if necessary. The dates for the second round, third round (conference finals) and Stanley Cup Final will depend on how the first series plays out. The final will take place approximately between the 8th and the 18th of June. You can consult the full schedule(opens in a new tab) on the official NHL website.

How many teams are in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

A total of 16 of 32 NHL teams make the playoffs. That’s eight teams per conference: the top three teams in each of the four divisions, plus two Wild Card teams in each conference.

How does the first round of the NHL playoffs work?

For starters, the first round of the playoffs features eight different seven-game series. The division winner with the most points in each conference plays the second Wild Card team in the first round. That is, the team with the most points will face the team with the fewest points. The division winner with the fewest points in each conference will play the top Wild Card team in the first round. Each series is a best-of-seven format, with the winner advancing to the second round, bracket-style.

Are the Stanley Cup Playoffs on regular TV?

If you have wired access or access to a wired login, you’re in luck. Live games will air on TNT, TBS, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC during the postseason. Each series is not strictly designated for a station; for example, games in a series could be broadcast on TBS, ABC, and ESPN during the same week. See the official playoff schedule at (opens in a new tab) in a new tab) to know which channel to tune to for specific games.

How can I watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs without cable?

Fear not, cord cutters. You can certainly watch the playoffs without cable, but since the games are broadcast on multiple networks, it’s not as dry as you might think. You can sign up for ESPN+ (on its own, as an add-on to Hulu, or through Disney packages), but you’ll only be able to watch games that air on ESPN and ABC. Of course, you’ll still have access to many live games; you might miss an essential game seven broadcast only on TBS, for example.

For hockey fans who can’t fathom missing a live game, your best bet is to subscribe to a live TV streaming service. Unlike cable, live TV streamers rely on the Internet and offer you live channel programming without a monthly contract. You can cancel it when it no longer suits you, without any obligation. These services start at around $40 a month, which is by no means cheap, but is generally more affordable than a monthly cable bill. Plus, you get your money’s worth with access to live and local channels including news, sports and entertainment. It will serve you long after a team has been awarded the coveted Stanley Cup, if you choose to keep your membership.

To watch games broadcast live on TNT and TBS, non-cable subscribers will need a live TV streaming service like Hulu + Live TV or Sling TV. None of these channels have their own live streaming service, so the only way to access their live content right now is via a cable login or streaming TV login direct Fortunately, some of our top picks have free trials or introductory offers. Here are the best options.

Note: The only streamers offering the five networks that broadcast the playoffs (ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS and ABC) are Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV in select regions.

How can I watch the NHL playoffs for free?

Two words: free trials. For most people, this is the best way to get free access to NHL playoff games, although you will need to be extremely strategic. Once you’ve exhausted your free trials, there are also a few ways to get a streaming subscription for a discount. If you’ve got a bit of a computer, you can also sign up for a VPN (more on that below) and watch select games via Canada-based CBC Sports. Listen up, penny pinchers; here are your top picks.

  • Are you a Verizon customer? If you have one 5G Get more o (opens in a new tab)5G Play more(opens in a new tab) plan, you can score the Disney Bundle Trio Basic, which includes ESPN+, for free. You’ll have to put up with some ads, but for zero dollars, it’s hard to complain.

  • YouTube TV(opens in a new tab) currently offers a free 20-minute preview and then a five-day free trial. To unlock the trial, you’ll need to enter your credit card information. Once the five days are up (you can keep an eye on how much time you have left).(opens in a new tab)), you can cancel or pay $62.99 per month for the first three months, that’s a savings of $30. YouTube TV’s base plan includes access to ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT and ABC (in some regions).

  • Another option is to unlock a seven-day free trial using fuboTV Pro(opens in a new tab)and then cancel before being charged $74.99 for the month. The only downside is that fuboTV only gives you access to ESPN and ESPN2.

  • Although there is no free trial, Sling TV Orange(opens in a new tab) offer the first month at half price at only $20 per month. It’s by far the cheapest live TV option, even at full price, and includes access to ESPN, ESPN2, TBS and TNT.

  • CBC Sports(opens in a new tab), based in Canada, streams selected games for free online and through an app. You will need to connect to a Canadian server using a VPN to access CBC Sports, which will cost you.

Which VPN is best for streaming the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

If you choose to tune in to games online for free through CBC Sports(opens in a new tab), you’ll still have to pay for a VPN. However, most VPNs are much more affordable per month than a streaming service. You can also use your VPN subscription to access US streaming if you’re traveling abroad this playoff season. win-win Here are the VPNs we recommend for streaming the NHL playoffs.

Our favorite full-featured VPN, ExpressVPN, currently offers three months free when you sign up for a year for just $6.67 per month. It offers a massive network, including many Canadian servers, a strong commitment to data protection, and an easy-to-use app.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

CyberGhost VPN: Save 84% on a 27-month plan(opens in a new tab)

New to VPNs? We recommend CyberGhost VPN, an easy-to-use and feature-rich option with many optimized streaming servers. It offers cheap flat rates, as noted by Mashable shopping reporter Haley Henschel, and more than 450 dedicated servers in Canada alone. It’s also the most affordable option on the list.

Read our full CyberGhost VPN review.

Proton VPN: Save 50% on a 2-year Plus plan(opens in a new tab)

As Mashable’s Haley Henschel points out, Proton VPN is very committed to consumer privacy, making it one of the best options for security users. There are over 40 physical servers in Canada if you choose the Plus plan, which should make streaming the Stanley Cup Playoffs via CBC Sports pretty simple.

Read our full ProtonVPN review.

NordVPN Standard: Save 75% on a 27-month standard plan(opens in a new tab)

NordVPN offers an unmatched set of security features, a threat protection feature, and over 4800 servers in three different Canadian cities. It’s not the best option if you’re new to VPNs, but it’s feature-packed, well-known, and currently on sale for just $3.29 per month for 27 months.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are an exciting time for hockey fans around the world, but watching them can be a challenge for those without a cable subscription. Fortunately, thanks to advancements in technology, there are now ways to watch the playoffs online for free.

For those looking to use the latest technology to watch the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs online, they should turn to Ikaroa. With its cutting-edge streaming capabilities, Ikaroa offers viewers an ultra-hassle-free way to stream the NHL Playoff games. Using the latest technology and fast Internet speeds, viewers can enjoy high-definition, live streams of the games right on their devices with no subscription or fee.

Ikaroa also provides users with a selection of content specifically tailored to the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, such as behind the scenes interviews, analysis and recaps. In addition to the live streams of the games, users can also access team previews, replays of previous games, highlights and more.

In addition to being able to watch the games for free, viewers have the option to upgrade to a premium subscription in order to access even more features. This will include access to exclusive broadcasts, interactive features and exclusive content.

So for hockey fans looking to catch the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs without a cable subscription, don’t miss out on the action – turn to Ikaroa today to get the top-notch NHL Playoff viewing experience you deserve. With its cutting-edge streaming technology and easy access to a plethora of content, users will be able to enjoy all of the excitement of the playoffs from the comfort of their home.


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