How to Stream NHL Games in 2021: Unblock Hockey With a VPN

There are a lot of people who love the National Hockey League, but unfortunately the games aren’t available everywhere. However, a VPN is the solution to watching NHL content from anywhere. In this article, we’ll show you how to stream NHL games securely with a VPN, so keep reading.

Andrej Hadji-Vasilev
By Andrej Hadji-Vasilev (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2021-07-26T18:33:08+00:00

The National Hockey League, or NHL, is one of the most popular hockey leagues, especially in Canada and the U.S. The problem is, hockey fans can’t just stream NHL games from anywhere — regardless of whether you want to watch the draft, the Stanley Cup playoffs or just a regular old hockey game.

Key Takeaways:

  • You can stream NHL games by using a VPN to connect to streaming platforms that have the NHL Network available, and you can also use a VPN to avoid blackouts that restrict you from watching certain games.
  • ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming NHL games, thanks to a combination of excellent speeds, great device compatibility and having many servers in the U.S. and Canada. 
  • NordVPN and CyberGhost are both solid alternatives and are slightly more affordable than ExpressVPN. 
  • If you want to get a completely free VPN, we recommend Windscribe.

The main roadblock to streaming the NHL are regional or local blackouts, and they’re mandated by the NHL with the sole purpose of protecting a specific team’s regional sports channels. So, if there’s a hockey game between the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins, you won’t be able to watch it on the NHL Network if you’re in New York or Boston — it’ll only be available on regional cable and satellite TV channels.

There is a solution, though. The answer to streaming the Stanley Cup (or other NHL games) is to use a VPN, or virtual private network. A VPN is a tool that can make it seem like you’re in a  different location, allowing you to bypass blackouts. We’ll show you how to start watching NHL games with a VPN (it’s super easy) and recommend the best one for you, so stay tuned and read on.

  • Unfortunately, the NHL Network is not available on Amazon Prime.

  • Yes, you can stream the hockey playoffs and you can live stream NHL games in general by using a VPN to connect to streaming platforms that offer the NHL Network as part of their channel list.

  • Yes, the NHL Network is available on multiple streaming platforms, such as fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV, Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV.

How to Stream NHL Games Online Without Cable

If you’re not in the U.S. or Canada, there are a couple of ways to watch hockey online, but all of them involve using a streaming platform to access NHL channels like NBC or the NHL network. NHL fans could also opt for regional sports networks (RSNs) on Bally Sports (formerly Fox Sports network) or NBC Sports, but then again, those are region-restricted, too.

A thing to note is that these streaming platforms aren’t available worldwide, which is why you’ll want a VPN to change your location to the U.S. (you can skip to the VPN section here). Additionally, if you’re in a blackout zone, you’ll have to choose a different location within the U.S. to be able to stream local games without cable. Here’s a short list of such services.

  1. fuboTV — $64.99 per month with a seven-day free trial for the starter package, plus $29.97 per quarter for the Sports Lite package (required for the NHL Network). 
    Channels available: NBC, NBC Sports Network, NHL Network, NBC and Fox regional sports networks
  2. Sling TV — $35 per month, with a free plan available; no free trial.
    Channels available: NBC, NBC Sports Network, NHL Network, NBC and Fox RSNs 
  3. AT&T TV — $69.99 per month for the Entertainment package, or $94.99 per month for the Ultimate package (required for the NHL Network); no free trial.
    Channels available: NBC, NBC Sports Network, NHL Network, NBC and Fox RSNs 
  4. Hulu + Live TV — $64.99 per month with a seven-day free trial.
    Channels available: NBC, NBC Sports Network, NBC RSNs 
  5. YouTube TV — $64.99 per month with a $10 discount for the first three months; seven-day free trial.
    Channels available: NBC, NBC Sports Network, NBC RSNs 

How to Watch NHL Playoffs: Free

If you don’t want to spend any money and still watch hockey online without cable, the way to go is to use the free trial for the streaming platforms we mentioned. You would normally need a cable subscription, but these services let you bypass that and enjoy the NHL without cable service. You’ll still need a VPN to bypass blackouts, but many of those offer free versions and money-back guarantees.

An option we can’t really recommend is to use one of those free streaming sites. Most if not all are very sketchy and you can never know what they’ve got going on in the background. We would suggest that you avoid them if possible.

How to Stream NHL Games & Draft With a VPN

If you want to stream the NHL live with a VPN, here is a detailed guide on how to do so. We’ll use ExpressVPN as an example, but whichever VPN you choose, make sure it has multiple locations in the U.S. and Canada to watch out-of-market games.

  1. Download and Install a VPN

    You can head to ExpressVPN’s website and click on “get ExpressVPN.” That will take you to the sign-up page where you create an account and then you can download the VPN. It’s available for a variety of devices, so make sure you pick the right platform. Once it’s downloaded, use the install wizard to install ExpressVPN. The setup wizard should be easy to follow.

    expressvpn us ip addresses
  2. Connect to a Server in Canada or the U.S.

    As we mentioned, local blackouts are a thing in the NHL, and if they impact the game you’d like to watch, you should connect to a different server. When you start ExpressVPN, click the location picker button — it’s a button with three dots on the right. Find and click on the location you’d like to connect to, preferably one that doesn’t have a blackout on the game you want to watch.

    expressvpn servers us
  3. Connect to Your Streaming Service of Choice

    When you’ve connected to the VPN server location, you can start the streaming service you’ve chosen to access the NHL Network or a regional sports network. Remember, you can use a free trial or free plan to watch NHL at no cost. That’s it, you should now be able to enjoy the game!

    sling nhl

The Best VPN to Watch NHL Games

The right VPN that allows you to start streaming NHL games will have plenty of servers throughout the U.S. and Canada, and should have zero issues with streaming platforms. We have a few suggestions for you, and we’ll even toss in a free VPN (Windscribe) at the end if you don’t feel like spending any money at all.

  1. ExpressVPN — Fastest VPN out there with great device compatibility; 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. NordVPN — Simple UI with plenty of servers in the U.S. and Canada; 30-day money-back guarantee.
  3. CyberGhost — Extremely affordable option; 45-day money-back guarantee on longer plans.

1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn connected us ip address
ExpressVPN’s UI is very simple and shows you exactly which city you’re connected to — handy when you’re trying to avoid a blackout. 

More details about ExpressVPN:

With servers in various locations across Canada and the U.S., ExpressVPN is the perfect option for streaming NHL games. It’s the fastest VPN out there, and it’s secure and works admirably with different streaming platforms and services. Add to this excellent device compatibility and a simple user interface, and it’s easy to see why it takes the top spot. You can find out more about it in our ExpressVPN review.

Pricing is not cheap, at $6.67 per month on a yearly plan, though you get three free months, too. When you consider everything you’re getting, and add to it the 30-day money-back guarantee, you can see why it’s our number one VPN suggestion. 

2. NordVPN

nordvpn map north america
NordVPN’s map overview gives you a visual representation of where you’re connecting to.

More details about NordVPN:

  • Pricing: $3.71 per month on a two-year plan
  • Provider website: www.nordvpn.com

NordVPN boasts a surprisingly simple UI with a map overview showing exactly where you’re connecting to. This makes it easy to avoid blackouts during NHL games by connecting to a faraway location, so you can enjoy your game. With plenty of servers around the U.S. and Canada, it’s a solid alternative to our top pick, and you can find out more about it in our NordVPN review.

When it comes to pricing, a two-year subscription costs $3.71 per month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you get cold feet. 

3. CyberGhost

cyberghost ui us streaming
CyberGhost has a whole separate section with streaming-oriented servers you can choose from.

More details about CyberGhost:

CyberGhost is the most affordable option on our list. When you consider that it has three server locations in Canada and eleven in the U.S., it’s great for avoiding those pesky blackouts when you want to enjoy the NHL. It does have some issues with certain streaming services, as you can see in our CyberGhost review, which is why it’s third on our list.

Price wise, CyberGhost is incredibly affordable at only $2.25 per month, but you’ll need to commit to a three-year subscription to get that pricing. It also has a 45-day money-back guarantee on longer plans (14 days on the monthly plan).

The Best Free NHL.TV VPN

Windscribe

windscribe-server-selection
Windscribe’s server list makes it easy to see which servers are and aren’t available as part of the free plan.

More details about Windscribe:

Windscribe is a free VPN with servers you can use to access multiple locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The free plan does have a data cap at 10GB, though, which could be a problem for streaming NHL games.

A thing to note is that Windscribe is one of the few free VPNs we would recommend (besides TunnelBear, ProtonVPN and Hide.me) because most free VPNs are known to cause problems, to say the least, so you should avoid them at all costs.

Windscribe has a free plan, but if you want to remove the data limit you can opt for the paid plan. If you only use it for streaming hockey live games, the build-your-own plan is a great solution. Check out our full Windscribe review here.

Build a Plan
  • Per “Pro” server location
  • : 10 GB
  • : Unlimited

Final Thoughts: Stream NHL Games

When all is said and done, you can enjoy streamed NHL games rather easily if you use a VPN. The question is, do you pay a bit more and get ExpressVPN’s excellent speeds and device compatibility, or do you save some money and go for NordVPN or CyberGhost?

Or maybe you don’t want to spend anything and Windscribe is your choice? Let us know in the comments, and thank you for reading!