NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: How to Watch Maple Leafs vs. Lightning, Devils vs. Rangers, Oilers vs. Kings – CNET

See at ESPN

ESPN Plus: $10 a month

Carries 2023 Stanley Cup playoff games live

See at Sling TV

Sling TV Orange: $40, $60 or $65

Carries ESPN, TNT and ABC (via ESPN3)

See at Hulu

Hulu Plus Live TV: $70

Carries ABC, ESPN, and TNT

The NHL playoffs are here, and the battle for the Stanley Cup is heating up the ice. A quartet of Game 6 matchups last night saw the Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes advance to the second round to join the Las Vegas Golden Knights, and tonight three more series play a Game 6. 

Among the teams still in the playoffs, the Boston Bruins are the favorites after collecting an NHL record 135 points en route to the Presidents’ Trophy for the best team in the regular season. They’ll hope to replicate their success against Matthew Tkachuk and the Florida Panthers, a series tied 3-3 and headed for Game 7 tomorrow.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have also had a strong season but have failed to win a playoff series since 2004. Their first-round opponent is none other than the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team that’s been to the Stanley Cup Finals for the past three seasons, winning it all in 2020 and 2021 before losing to the Colorado Avalanche last year.

The New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers are battling it out to see which team from the NYC region will advance to round two. In the final Eastern Conference series, the Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders in overtime last night.

In the Western Conference, the Vegas Golden Knights were the first team to punch their ticket into the second round after finishing off the Winnipeg Jets. Meanwhile, Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers are hoping for a deep playoff run in 2023, and they’re getting their first test in a rematch of last year’s round one pairing with the Los Angeles Kings — a matchup that the Oilers won four games to three. The defending champion Colorado Avalanche began its quest to repeat by facing off against the Seattle Kraken, which only just completed its second year in the league — the two teams will play Game 7 tomorrow. Finally the Stars beat the Minnesota Wild with a 4-1 victory last night.

Tonight, three games will result in series wins or a Game 7 on Monday. First, the Toronto Maple Leafs look to close out their series against the Lightning, starting at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) on TBS. Next, the New Jersey Devils face off at Madison Square Garden against a New York Rangers team facing elimination, starting at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) on ABC and ESPN Plus. Finally, the Edmonton Oilers will try to finish off the Los Angeles Kings at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on TBS.

While you can use an antenna, thanks to live TV streaming services cord-cutters can stream all the action with no cable subscription required. Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch or stream the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins points with his glove after celebrating a goal.

Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins are Stanley Cup favorites after a record-setting season.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

NHL Playoffs FAQ

What is the 2023 first round playoff schedule?

Here’s the schedule for the next two days in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, including the series status. See NHL.com for the full schedule.

Saturday, April 29

  • Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, Game 6, 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) on TBS (Leafs lead 3-2)
  • New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers, Game 6, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) on ABC (Devils lead 3-2)
  • Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings, Game 6, 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT) on TBS (Oilers lead 3-2)

Sunday, April 30

  • Florida Panthers vs. Boston Bruins, Game 7, 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT) on TNT (series tied 3-3)
  • Seattle Kraken vs. Colorado Avalanche, Game 7, 9:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. PT) on TNT (series tied 3-3)

What does the full bracket look like? 

What channels will broadcast playoff games?

The NHL playoffs air on a collection of networks, including ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2, TNT and TBS.

The Stanley Cup Final will air on TNT in the US and on Sportsnet in Canada.

How can I stream the games on my phone?

If you have a live TV streaming service (like Sling TV, YouTube TV or one of the ones below), you can use its app. If you have cable or satellite, you can use your provider’s app or one of the following, after logging in with your cable provider’s credentials:

  • For ABC games, use the ESPN app. Click the gear icon in the upper right and then select Manage TV provider.
  • For TNT games, use the TNT app. Click the person icon to sign in with your TV provider. 

How to watch, livestream the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

As these games all air nationally, the best way to catch all the hockey action live, without cable, is with a live TV streaming service.

ESPN Plus is the home of hockey’s out-of-market coverage and will air all Stanley Cup playoff games simultaneously with ABC and ESPN. 

While the $10 a month, $100 per year service is best suited for die-hard fans of the sports it covers well — mainly hockey, soccer and UFC — more casual fans might find themselves with an ESPN Plus subscription anyway through the Disney bundle, which also includes Hulu and Disney Plus with ads for $13 total.

Sling TV’s Orange plan includes ESPN and TNT. ABC, however, is only available in eight markets (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Fresno, Houston and Raleigh) and requires the Orange and Blue combo plan if you want ESPN too. That combo plan costs $65 per month in all of those cities except Fresno, Houston and Raleigh, where it costs $60. Even if ABC isn’t available in your area, you can watch those games using the simulcast stream available on ESPN3. 

Hulu Plus Live TV costs $70 a month and carries ABC, ESPN and TNT. 

YouTube TV costs $73 a month and offers ABC, ESPN and TNT.

DirecTV Stream is expensive. It’s the priciest of the five major live TV streaming services. Its cheapest, $65-a-month Entertainment package includes ESPN, ABC, and TNT. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels and RSNs are available in your area. 

It is worth noting that DirecTV has an additional $15 “advanced receiver service” fee that automatically applies and is added on to the sticker price, which makes the Entertainment package $80 per month.

FuboTV costs $75 a month and also includes ABC and ESPN but not TNT. 

Most live TV streaming services offer a free trial or discounts during the first month and allow you to cancel anytime. All require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our live TV streaming services guide.