There are several exciting story lines heading into the NHL’s 2023 postseason, with the Boston Bruins setting a new single-season win record—63 and counting as of this writing—and the second-year Seattle Kraken clinching their first playoff birth. And with just a week left of the regular season as I write this, three of the four divisions are still up for grabs.
Fortunately, the postseason’s TV schedule is more settled. This year, the playoffs will air nationally on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and TBS. During the first round, Saturday-night games will be broadcast on ABC, while the rest of the first round will air on ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT. ESPN and TNT will carry all the second-round games, and the conference finals will air on ESPN, ABC, and TNT. TNT will exclusively air the 2023 Stanley Cup Final.
That’s good news for cord-cutters, because you can catch all these games without ponying up for a cable or satellite TV subscription. Here are the details:
Over the air
You can watch all the ABC games for free if you have an over-the-air TV antenna and are within the radius of your local ABC affiliate’s broadcast tower. You’ll find our top antenna picks here.
For the rest of the playoff games, you’ll need some combination of the following services:
Sling TV offers ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and TBS, and you can get them together in the Sling Orange package for $40 a month. Currently, you can get 50-percent off your first month.
DirectTV Stream also offers ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, and TBS, and you can get them all in its Entertainment package for $65 a month. You might also be able to get ABC, but availability varies by package and location. You can enter your Zip code on the DirecTV Stream website to see if ABC is available in your area.
If your sports viewing extends beyond hockey, DirecTV Stream might be the best streaming service for you year round. Over the last few years, Sling TV, FuboTV, YouTube TV, and Hulu + Live TV have all dropped regional sports networks like Bally Sports Networks and NBC Regional Sports Networks from their product offerings.
Not only is DirectTV Stream the only one to stream these, but it’s also the service with the most regional sports network coverage overall, including the NBC Sports regional networks, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, New England Sports Network, YES Network, and Spectrum SportsNet LA. It also offers FS1 and MLB Network.
Fubo offers ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2 in its $74.99-per-month Pro package. That includes 1,000 hours of DVR space in the cloud, which can be used for recording games so you don’t miss a minute of action. None of Fubo’s packages, however, include TNT or TBS.
Hulu + Live TV
Hulu’s live TV streaming service is available as a single, flat-fee package that includes more than 75 live and on-demand channels—including ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT and TBS. You get them all, in addition to Hulu’s original content, its streaming library, and ad-supported Disney+ for $70 a month.
YouTube TV also offers a flat-fee package of more than 85 channels that includes ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT and TBS. Subscriptions are $73 per month, but the service is currently offering the first three months for just $63 per month. If you’re also a football fan, YouTube TV is now available with NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL RedZone as added-cost add-on subscriptions.
Catch all the action on the ice
With the league returning to normal operations and a multi-year TV deal in place, the future looks bright for the NHL and its cord-cutting fans. Best of all, there will be plenty of ways to watch the NHL without cable for years to come.