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How to Watch the NHL Playoffs 2023

It’s a long, icy road to Lord Stanley’s Cup, but you can watch the complete NHL Playoffs on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT.

Update: The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals. As we gear up for the next championship series, you can expect the 2023 best-of-seven series to air on TNT. We’ll update this page when more info becomes available.

Despite a cluster of mid-season NHL game postponements, the 2022 NHL Playoffs took to the ice on May 2, 2022. Playoff games will air on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT, with the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals airing on ABC and ESPN+.

We’ve got you covered with which TV providers carry every playoff channel and what the current NHL postseason schedule looks like. Sports logo featuring animated athlete with raised hands.

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What channel are the NHL Playoffs on?

The 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs will take place on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT. All five channels are widely available, as shown in our TV provider table below.

As for the Stanley Cup Finals, the seven-game series finale will alternate channels annually through 2028. In 2022, the Finals will air entirely on ABC and ESPN+.

NHL Playoffs schedule

The first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs started on May 2. Each round’s length is determined by how long each best-of-seven series lasts. The Stanley Cup Finals will begin on June 15, 2022.

You can keep tabs on the full NHL Playoffs schedule and bracket by visiting the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs page.

Round Start date Channels
First Round May 2, 2022 ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT
Second Round May 17, 2022 ESPN, ESPN2, TNT
Conference Finals May 31, 2022 ESPN, ESPN+, TNT
Stanley Cup Finals June 15, 2022 ABC, ESPN+

Based on the NHL’s preliminary dates for the 2022 season, the Stanley Cup Finals won’t extend beyond June 30. This ensures that the final game of the playoffs doesn’t conflict with the 2022 NHL Draft.

Best TV plans for watching the NHL Playoffs

What’s great about the NHL Playoffs is that ABC, ESPN, and TNT are the same three channels that nationally televise NHL regular season games. So, if you’ve already been following the current NHL season on TV, you most likely already have a majority of the right channels to watch the playoffs.

But if you’re just now skating in for the playoffs alone and need a provider to start watching, we recommend going with a live TV streaming service.

Hulu + Live TV makes the most sense for postseason hockey fans because it includes ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT—plus, it comes with ESPN+ at no additional cost. ESPN+ is a great app to have in your corner because it’s home to exclusive NHL content and on-demand games. That way, if you miss a live playoff game, you can easily catch it after the fact without using Hulu + Live TV’s Cloud DVR.

Which TV providers offer NHL playoff channels?

For a closer look at every major TV provider’s playoff coverage, we’ve broken down which providers offer the five NHL playoff channels below.

Provider Type Price ABC ESPN ESPN2 TBS TNT Details
Cox Cable $56.00–$139.00/mo. View plans

Read Cox review
DIRECTV Satellite $64.99–$154.99/mo. View plans

Read DIRECTV review
DIRECTV STREAM Streaming $74.99–$154.99/mo. View plans

DISH Satellite $79.99–$109.99/mo. View plans

Read DISH review
fuboTV Streaming $74.99–$94.99/mo. View plans

Read fuboTV review
Hulu + Live TV Streaming $69.99–$82.99/mo. View plans

Read Hulu + Live TV review
Optimum Cable $30.00–$115.00/mo. View plans

Read Optimum review
Philo Streaming $25.00/mo. View plans

Read Philo review
Sling TV Streaming $40.00–$55.00/mo. View plans

Read Sling TV review
Spectrum Cable $59.99/mo. View plans

Read Spectrum review
Vidgo Streaming $59.95–$79.95/mo. View plans

Read Vidgo review
Xfinity Cable $20.00–$80.00/mo. View plans

Read Xfinity review
YouTube TV Streaming $72.99/mo. View plans

Read YouTube TV review

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

How to watch the NHL Playoffs for free

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to watch the entire NHL Playoffs for free. With most of the playoffs airing on ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT, you’ll need to subscribe to a TV provider to get access to those channels. We would normally recommend signing up for a free trial to a live TV streaming service, but most trials aren’t long enough to cover the span of the full playoff schedule.

Because ABC will air the complete Stanley Cup Finals in 2022, you can watch those games completely free through your local ABC network. However, to do this, you need to make a one-time purchase of a digital antenna.

The Mohu Leaf 50 ($59.99 on Amazon*) is one of our favorite antennas on the market because it’s 4K ready and has a 60-mile range. But, before you go this route, we recommend entering your zip code on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Reception Map Tool to ensure you have an ABC affiliate within range.

Final take

You’ll need a TV plan that includes ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT to watch the entire 2022 NHL Playoffs. ESPN and ESPN2 will air half of the games in the first two rounds and one conference final, while TBS and TNT will air the remaining games in the first two rounds and the other conference final. ABC will also air every game of the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals.

Our favorite TV service for watching the NHL Playoffs is Hulu + Live TV (starting at $69.99 a month). The live TV streaming service not only offers ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, and TNT, but also includes ESPN+ at no additional cost. ESPN+ is a major bonus for hockey fans because it has its own NHL-centric studio shows and an on-demand library of past NHL games.

How to watch the NHL Playoffs FAQ

When do the NHL Playoffs start?

The 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs began on May 2, with the Stanley Cup Finals starting on June 15.

Which teams make it to the NHL Playoffs?

Of the 32 NHL teams, 16 of them reach the NHL Playoffs. This includes the top three teams in each of the league’s four divisions, with the two next best teams (based on total points) in the league’s two conferences earning wild-card spots.

Are the NHL Playoffs on ESPN+?

While parts of the 2022 NHL Playoffs will air on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2, you can’t stream all of those playoff games live on ESPN+. But every ABC and ESPN playoff game from the conference finals onward will be available on ESPN+. All other playoff games are accessible on demand through the streaming service after they end in real time.

Are the NHL Playoffs on Peacock?

The 2022 NHL Playoffs are not streaming on Peacock. While 17 playoff games aired on the streaming service in 2021, Peacock’s parent company NBCUniversal no longer owns the broadcasting rights to the NHL.

Can I watch the NHL Playoffs on Amazon Prime?

The NHL Playoffs are not available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

What streaming service has NHL Network?

In terms of live TV streaming services, NHL Network is available on DIRECTV STREAM, fuboTV, and Sling TV. While NHL Network does not air any NHL playoff games, you can still watch a lot of postseason coverage through the channel.


Our sports experts spent eight hours researching the best ways to watch the NHL Playoffs. We compared the most popular TV providers head to head, focusing on each provider’s channel offerings, pricing, and ease of use. Additional features like DVR storage space and on-demand capabilities were also taken into account.

To learn more about our methods, check out our How We Rank page.


Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

* price as of 05/12/22 9:00 a.m. MST. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

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