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The NHL is coming back! The hockey season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it's finally on its way back. Players and owners have hammered out an agreement that, with a few final decisions from players, should clear the way for hockey to return in July or August. Games will be played in two hub cities: Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. After a series of play-in games to sort out regular-season contenders, the NHL will quickly move into a more typical playoff format in the lead-up to the Stanley Cup Final.

For the most part, that means that all of the tips we usually give you are still relevant for the NHL's triumphant return. The only one to keep an eye on is NHL.TV, the streaming service that offers live out-of-market regular season games. It's not clear right now how the TV and streaming rights will shake out for the play-in games. Depending on the schedule, many (or even all) could end up blacked out on NHL.TV, so we'd recommend that you focus on the skinny bundle options below for now.

For the latest on the NHL's return, check back on this page. Keep on eye on our main coronavirus and sports page, too, where we'll track all the latest developments in the NHL and all of the other leagues that Coronavirus is impacting, including the NFL, NBA, and more.

It's a great day for hockey. Thanks to the proliferation of skinny bundles and the NHL's own ever-improving streaming option, it's easier than ever to watch the NHL without cable. Our guide includes everything you need to know about watching the NHL online in the 2019-20 season, plus tips for catching it over the air or in other broadcast formats.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream NHL games:

  Price Channels Free Trial  
$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

See Offer

$54.99 – $86.96 100+ 7 days

See Offer

$30 – $70 50+ 3 days

See Offer

What channels have NHL hockey on?

Most of the methods that we'll use to watch NHL hockey online will be streaming services that offer live network TV channels over the internet. But in order to find the ones that have the best hockey coverage, we will first need to know which channels air NHL hockey! Let's run down the list.

  • NBC – This major network is home to some of the biggest hockey match-ups of the year, including most of the Stanley Cup Finals games.
  • NBCSN – The most sporty member of the NBC family of channels is your best bet for regular nationally televised hockey games all season long.
  • NHL Network – The NHL's own network features tons of hockey-related programming and the occasional live game.
  • Regional sports networks (RSNs) – Not all NHL games are nationally televised, of course. Most games air only regionally in the markets of the home and away teams. You'll find your local team's games on a regional sports network, or “RSN.” Many live TV streaming services include a selection of RSNs like MSG, NESN, and Fox Sports Midwest. RSNs are typically only available in their usual markets (skinny bundles use your IP address to figure out if you should get one).

How to watch NHL games online and over the air

There are a few basic ways to watch NHL games without cable. You could opt for the NHL's own streaming service, NHL.TV. You could use free over-the-air TV, since some games are on NBC, which is an over-the-air channel. Or you could use a skinny bundle that includes NBC, NBCSN, and/or your local RSN.

What's a skinny bundle? Well, it's a cable-like package of live TV channels. Only a skinny bundle is a streaming service, not a traditional cable or satellite service. There's lots of competition, low prices, and support for just about any streaming device that you could dream of.

Sound good? Well, then you'll love the first few items on our list. Once we've gotten through the skinny bundles, we'll dwell on NHL.TV and over-the-air TV, too. Here's how to watch NHL games online and over the air, no cable required.

Stream NHL games for free with Hulu

Free Trial

It seems like everyone is in on the skinny bundle market these days! That includes Hulu, a service previously best known for its streaming video on demand (SVOD) option. Hulu + Live TV has a clunkier name than most of its rivals, but it offers very similar perks. The NBC family of networks is here, including live local broadcasts on NBC's flagship channel in select markets. As of this writing, NHL Network is not included. Read our review of Hulu + Live TV to learn more, or click the link in this section to sign up for the service's free trial offer.

Stream NHL games for free with fuboTV

Free Trial

fuboTV started as a soccer-specific skinny bundle, and it still claims to be the clear choice for sports fans. That's a little questionable given the glaring absence of ESPN, but fans of the NHL — which ESPN notoriously ignores — will find that the service's hockey coverage is decent. NBC's networks are all here (local broadcasts are available only in some regions, as is the norm for skinny bundles), and RSN coverage is quite solid. The NHL Network is, unfortunately, missing. To learn more, read our review of fuboTV or just dive in with a free trial and check things out for yourself.

Stream NHL games with Sling TV

Try It

As of this writing, Sling TV no longer offers local broadcasts from the major networks. That means no NBC, unfortunately. But Sling TV does offer NBCSN and a decent selection of RSNs, so there will be hockey to watch if you sign up. Combine Sling TV with free over-the-air TV (which we discuss in this article, too), and you'll have a cost-effective way to watch NHL games without cable. And Sling TV is worth it to hockey fans for another reason: Unlike most skinny bundles, Sling TV offers NHL Network.

AT&T TV Now

Hockey is easy to watch with AT&T TV. AT&T's live TV streaming service offers NBC, NBCSN, and a solid selection of regional sports networks. You can check out our full review of AT&T TV Now to learn more, or you could just sign up for an AT&T TV Now free trial here.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is Google's skinny bundle service, and it makes a great way to watch NHL games online without cable. YouTube TV offers a wealth of great live channels, including NBC and NBCSN live streams. No NHL Network, unfortunately, but YouTube TV does have some regional sports networks. Check out its free trial offer!

NHL.tv

NHL.tv is the NHL's league-wide streaming service. It works in much the same way as MLB TV or NBA League Pass: you'll get live home and away broadcasts for all out-of-market regular season games. If you want to root for your local team or watch a national broadcast (like the ones on NBC Sports), you're out of luck, but NHL.TV is a great solution for fans living outside of their favorite team's local market. NHL.TV was previously known as NHL GameCenter LIVE (catchy name!), so this is the same product, just rebranded. NHL.tv has a single-team subscription option these days, too. You can read our review of NHL.tv to learn more.

Free over-the-air TV

NBC has the rights to the NHL's national broadcasts. For the most part, they keep those broadcasts on NBC Sports, but the games that do find their way over the NBC's flagship station are a big deal. NBC airs playoff games and Stanley Cup Finals games, among others, so it's worth investing in an antenna if you're an NHL fan. It's very likely that a good antenna will get you NBC broadcasts for free over the air, though availability will depend on where you live. If an antenna doesn't work for you, check to see whether or not your region is one of the markets that allows live feeds to air on skinny bundles like the ones listed below.

Can I Watch NHL Games Without Cable on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast?

You sure can! The services we listed above work great on many of the biggest streaming platform out there.

Roku fans can choose between Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV each have apps for Fire TV devices.

Apple TV users can check out Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Chromecast supports Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

As for Android TV, the Google-owned streaming platform used on the Nvidia Shield, among other devices, that one supports Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.

Want to watch on the go? No problem. Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV each also have apps for iOS and Android mobile devices.

A computer will make an excellent streaming device, too, of course. You can watch NHL games on your computer using the desktop and/or in-browser apps available through Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Even video game consoles will work. Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV work on Xbox One. Hulu + Live TV works on PlayStation 4.

What about NHL.TV? Well, it works on these devices: Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, and select smart TVs. It also has an in-browser app for computers, of course.

Over-the-air TV can also be streamed to many popular streaming devices using OTA DVRs and OTA features on apps like Plex.

In short, there are a ton of ways to watch live NHL streams and free NHL games without cable. So why not cut the cord today?

2 thoughts on “How to Watch NHL Games Online

  1. Avatar Kevin says:

    For services like NHL.TV, which only provide out-of-market games (because why would you want to watch your home team?), there is a way around their BS.

    There are a number of basically VPN services, which allow you to access your home team games (home and away). I use YonderTV but there are lots of them. I think I pay like $4 for 3 months or something like that.

  2. Avatar elizasdan767 says:

    I don’t know how to watch free but for few $ you can watch it on ScreenVariety. There you can watch that game without any blackouts or some other popups.

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