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How to Stream NHL Games

How to Stream NHL Games in 2024: Watch NHL Games Online From Anywhere

Figuring out how to stream NHL games can be a frustrating experience, especially when there are blackouts to contend with and events being distributed across different streaming platforms. In this guide, we settle the score.

Kit CopsonSandra PattisonJasna Mishevska

Written by Kit Copson (Writer, Briefing Editor)

Reviewed by Sandra Pattison (Writer, Editor)

Facts checked by Jasna Mishevska (Lead Fact-Checking Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-01-23T10:35:00+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: How to Stream NHL Games

  • The channels that broadcast NHL games distribute them across a variety of streaming services. For the most extensive access, viewers in the U.S. will need access to an RSN for local coverage and to subscribe to a live TV streaming service as well as ESPN+, which broadcasts 100 exclusive games and more than 1,000 out-of-market games. 
  • International viewers can watch NHL games via NHL.TV, which streams all regular season games (blackouts apply). Accepted payment methods include American Express, Discover, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. If you have an NHL.TV account but are in the U.S., you’ll need to connect to a VPN server overseas to use the service. 
  • If you need to bypass an NHL blackout, you can change your IP address with a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN — a veteran provider and all-arounder — for bypassing blackouts. NordVPN is our second pick. 

The 107th National Hockey League (NHL) season kicked off on Oct. 10, 2023, and will finish up in June 2024 with the Stanley Cup Finals. The season comprises 82 games, but you can’t watch all of them in the same place. If you’re feeling a bit lost, let us explain how to stream NHL games in the U.S., Canada and abroad without a cable subscription. 

NHL broadcasts are split into national games and regional games, and these are distributed across various networks in the U.S. and Canada. This means that the streaming service or app you use to stream the games will depend on where you are and which broadcasts you want to watch. Unfortunately, coverage isn’t neatly packed into one streaming service. 

Sports fans in the U.S. and Canada are all too familiar with this frustration, but we’ll outline all your streaming options — both free and paid — to hopefully make things clearer and show you how to bypass regional blackouts with a quality VPN service like ExpressVPN.

  • 09/07/2022

    Updated Windscribe pricing: the paid plan increased to $5.75 per month from $4.08. The Build-a-Plan minimum purchase also increased to $3 from $2. Also updated Windscribe’s free data cap to 15GB due to it offering 5GB extra permanently when you tweet about the service.

  • 01/09/2024 Facts checked

    This guide has been rewritten to include information on how to stream NHL games and bypass blackouts in 2024. 

How to Watch NHL Games for Free

CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) allows you to stream Hockey Night in Canada games for free on its app, CBC Gem. You can also watch the games on CBC Gem’s website. Bear in mind that you’ll need to enter a Canadian postal code when you register. In addition, Ran.de, the streaming site for Proseiben in Germany, broadcasts select games. 

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These are legal options, and you can access them from outside of Canada and Germany by connecting to a VPN server in Canada (if you want to watch on CBC Gem) or Germany (if you want to watch on Ran.de). Alternatively, you can use a free trial of a live TV streaming service (more on this further down). 

Some sites, like NHL66, NHLWebCast and Stream2Watch, provide free NHL live streams, but these are not legal options. If you use unlicensed streaming sites to watch NHL games, we strongly recommend stocking up on security software like a reputable VPN, antivirus software and an ad blocker. 

A VPN protects your anonymity, whereas antivirus software and ad blockers help keep your device safe from potential malware. This is one of the biggest concerns for those who use free, unlicensed streaming sites. If you’d like to learn more about VPNs that come with ad blockers, check out our guide on the topic

How to Fix NHL66 Not Working

According to NHL66’s website, most free users need a VPN to watch its live streams. It advises connecting to a VPN server in Japan, the U.K. or Germany to get the NHL.TV feed to work. The site owners go on to explain that ESPN+ streams on its website require a U.S. IP address, so if you’re outside of the U.S., you’ll need to connect to a U.S. server on a VPN. 

Official NHL Streaming: Can I Watch All NHL Games in One Place?

You can’t watch all NHL games in one place in the U.S. or Canada. Though some live streaming sites like DirectTV Stream and Fubo have extensive NHL coverage due to the availability of several NHL channels and the fact that they cover most regional sports networks (RSNs), a few RSNs and channels are excluded. Availability varies, which we’ll discuss later. 

Furthermore, some national games are broadcast exclusively on ESPN+ (where you can also watch out-of-market games on NHL Power Play) and Hulu + Live TV. You won’t find these exclusive games on other streaming services. To further many fans’ frustration, their local teams’ games are subject to those notorious blackouts (see further down for more on this). 

Access is more cut-and-dry for international viewers, as they can sign up for a dedicated streaming service for NHL games: NHL.TV. To clarify this, let’s explore how to watch your local team’s games and national games in the U.S., Canada and overseas. 

How to Watch NHL Games in the US

In the U.S., NHL games are split across three channels and one streaming platform: ABC, ESPN, TNT and ESPN+. If you’re a cord cutter, you can watch the national games on the corresponding streaming service or app for each channel.

Channel:App
ABC ESPN+
TNT Watch TNT & Max apps
ESPN ESPN app
ESPN+* ESPN+ & Hulu
*streaming service

You can watch regional games (local market) on cable on your regional sports provider (RSL) or within that RSL’s app. NHL Center Ice is the place to go if you’re an out-of-market fan, and for online streaming, you can head to ESPN+. 

Furthermore, certain games are broadcast on NHL Network outside of local markets, but these won’t be available on ESPN+ or NHL Center Ice. 

How to Watch NHL Games in Canada

In Canada, national game broadcasts are distributed across two channels: Sportsnet and TVA Sports. Head to Sportsnet+ or the TVA app to watch online. 

As in the U.S., regional sports networks broadcast regional local market games, and you can go to that RSN’s app to watch. Those outside the local market can tune in to NHL Center Ice or Sportsnet+ (in the Sportsnet app).

How to Watch NHL Games Abroad

Overseas hockey fans can subscribe to NHL.TV to catch all regular season games live and on demand, including (possibly) some NHL preseason games. 

This streaming service is available in several countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific, but not in the U.S. or Canada. However, as in the U.S. and Canada, blackout restrictions apply depending on where you are. 

If you have an NHL.TV account but are in the U.S., you’ll need to connect to a VPN server in a country where NHL.TV is available, like the U.K. or France. If you experience any issues, try connecting to a server in the country where you signed up for your account. For example, if you signed up for your account in France or on a French VPN server, use French servers to stream NHL.TV. 

How to Watch NHL Games Without Cable

With games spread across different streaming platforms, U.S. hockey fans don’t have it easy. However, one way to ensure that you have the most extensive coverage possible is to use live TV streaming services. Though some services don’t carry a large number of regional sports networks for local NHL games, a few have a pretty decent selection. Here are the options for U.S. viewers: 

We recommend checking the details of your live TV streaming service plan carefully before purchasing to ensure that the plan you’ve chosen has all the channels you need. Not all plans offer the same channels. 

Service:ChannelsFree TrialPriceNotes
ESPN+ N/A2
$10.99 per month
$109.99 per year
You can also watch ESPN+ exclusive broadcasts on Hulu + Live TV.
DirecTV StreamTBS
TNT
ESPN
NHL Network3
$83.99 per month + tax for one month (Choice & Sports Pack – limited time offer, usually $123.98)

$69.99 per month + tax for two months (Entertainment & Sports Pack, limited time offer, usually $94.98 per month) 

$94.99 per month + tax for one month (Ultimate & Sports Pack – limited time offer, usually $134.98 per month)
Most RSNs offered via the Choice + Sports pack. RSNs not offered: KnightTime Plus and NBC Sports Philadelphia
FuboABC
ESPN
NHL Network
From $74.99 per monthMost RSNs offered. KnightTime Plus is not offered.
YouTube TVABC
ESPN
TNT
TBS
From $72.99 per month ($50.99 for the first 3 months)Limited RSNs offered.
Sling TVABC
ESPN
TBS
TNT
NHL Network4
*From $40 per month (Orange plan)Limited RSNs and ABC broadcasting (select markets only).
Hulu + Live TVABC
ESPN
TNT
TBS
From $76.99 per month with ads ($75.99 for live TV without ESPN+ and some other features)ESPN+ included. Only four RSNs available.
Max1TNT5From $9.99 per month (with ads plan), B/R add-on is also $9.99 per monthMax is an option if you have a live streaming service that doesn’t offer TNT NHL games.
1. With B/R Sports add-on
2. Standalone service
3. From the Ultimate plan and up
4. Sports Extra
5. Selected games
* First month is half price

The Best NHL Streaming Services

The following two live streaming services are the best for NHL thanks to their inclusion of most regional sports networks as well as major NHL channels. 

DirecTV Stream (Choice + Sports Pack)

  • Price: $83.99 per month (Choice + Sports Pack)

Though it’s an expensive option, DirecTV Stream’s Choice + Sports pack includes a huge variety of regional sports networks (these aren’t included in the Entertainment + Sports pack). However, if not having RSNs doesn’t bother you, the cheaper Entertainment + Sports Pack carries TBS, TNT and ESPN. 

Fubo

  • Price: from $74.99 per month

Fubo is great for regional sports networks (it carries most of them), but it is missing two major NHL channels: TBS and TNT. If you want NHL Network, you can either subscribe to the Elite or Premier bundle (these come with the Extra package) or purchase it as an add-on if you go for the Pro bundle. 

What Are NHL Blackouts & How Can I Bypass Them?

Blackouts — one of the biggest frustrations sports fans encounter — occur when a game isn’t broadcast in certain regions for contractual reasons or because the broadcasting rights are exclusive to a specific network or provider. Unfortunately, no live streaming service or sports channel in the U.S. is entirely immune to blackouts, and blackouts can happen nationally or regionally. 

For example, if you live in an area where a game is set to air on a local channel, you typically will not be able to watch that game on cable or via a streaming service. The game will be available to stream or watch on TV in other locations, just not in yours or in any other market that’s broadcasting it. 

ESPN+ and other services can tell which location you’re in from your IP address or location services (GPS) if you’re using a mobile device. Learn more about ESPN+ blackouts in our dedicated guide. 

Basically, whether a game is blacked out for you depends on the location you’re in. Fortunately, you can change your IP address with a VPN to stream blacked-out games. 

How to Watch NHL Games With a VPN

If you’ve fallen victim to a blackout on a streaming service, follow these steps to get an IP address in another location and stream the game like normal.

If you’re using an app on a mobile device, ESPN+ and many other live streaming services make it a requirement to turn on location services. A VPN cannot change your GPS location, so this method won’t work if you’re using an app that requires you to turn on location services, unless you use a location spoofer — but that usually requires you to jailbreak or root your device. 

  1. Subscribe to a VPN

    Go to a VPN provider’s website and subscribe to a plan. Most providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, including ExpressVPN.

    get expressvpn
  2. Download and Install the VPN

    Locate the “download” tab, then open the file once the download is finished. Start the installation procedure.

    download expressvpn
  3. Connect to a Server

    Connect to a server outside the area where the game is blacked out. For example, if you’re in San Francisco and the game you want to watch is blacked out, connect to a server outside of San Francisco.

    expressvpn app
  4. Log In to Your Chosen Streaming Service

    Log in to the streaming service you want to use and start streaming the game you want.

    nhl-espn

The Best VPNs for Watching NHL Games Online

To bypass blackouts, you’ll need a capable VPN provider with excellent speeds and top security. With that in mind, we recommend the following two providers.

1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn us chicago
For us, ExpressVPN is the overall best VPN for streaming
live sports and on-demand content. 

Pros:

  • Plenty of U.S. locations
  • Watertight security
  • Easy to use apps

Cons

  • Pricey

ExpressVPN’s extensive selection of locations to connect to in the United States makes it the ideal VPN for getting around blackouts. It’s also fast, unfailingly secure, consistent with streaming services and easy to use whether you’re a VPN buff or a complete beginner

We’ve always had a great experience with ExpressVPN — which is why we’re so keen to recommend it — but unfortunately, it doesn’t come cheap. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, though, and you can save a bit by opting for the annual plan rather than the monthly plan. Learn more about ExpressVPN by heading over to our full ExpressVPN review

2. NordVPN

nordvpn new york connection
NordVPN’s sophisticated app makes switching between servers a breeze. 

Pros:

  • Excellent speeds
  • Cheap long-term plans
  • Very secure service

Cons:

  • Modest selection of U.S. locations

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to ExpressVPN, NordVPN is well worth checking out. This secure and lightning-fast provider (which has the best speeds on average) comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and offers a flexible selection of plans tailored to different needs. If you opt for a two-year plan, you’ll find that these ones are very affordable

Though NordVPN is an excellent provider with a decent number of U.S. locations, it doesn’t have as many as some of its competitors. Find out more about what we do and don’t like in our NordVPN review

Final Thoughts

We know how frustrating it can be to navigate sports streaming services in the U.S. and deal with blackouts. Whether you’ve cut the cord or live overseas, we hope you’ve found our guide useful. 

What are your go-to streaming services for NHL games? Will a VPN come in handy for you to bypass blackouts? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading. 

FAQ: Stream NHL Games Online

  • For the most extensive streaming experience, viewers in the U.S. can subscribe to a live TV streaming service, but some games are exclusive to ESPN+.

  • Various streaming services broadcast the NHL, including live TV streaming services like DirecTV Stream and Fubo, though a couple of regional sports networks are missing. Some channels may also be missing depending on the service, like ABC is missing from DirecTV.

  • Yes, a Hulu + Live TV plan comes with ESPN, ABC, TNT, TBS and ESPN+, though it doesn’t offer most regional sports networks (RSNs).

  • You can watch NHL.TV in a number of countries (not the U.S. or Canada, though, among others) by signing up on the NHL.TV website. You’ll need a valid payment method (American Express, Mastercard, Visa, etc.) and to connect to a VPN server overseas if you’re using NHL.TV in the U.S.

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