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Where to Stream the Stanley Cup Play-Offs in 2024

Sarah Osman-Mikesell - Writer for Top10.com
A man using a streaming service to watch the Stanley Cup play-offs.
Get ready for the Stanley Cup play-offs coming this spring, where teams battle it out to become the next NHL (National Hockey League) champion. If you're planning to watch the games at home, here's a list of the best streaming services so you don't miss any of the intense action.

The Stanley Cup play-offs are what the entire season builds to. Games can get really intense and often end with sudden-death matches. Teams clash, five-on-five. Each period lasts up to 20 minutes. The first goal wins. The tension builds. Every shot could be the decider. This is why so many people love hockey.

So, lace up your skates and prepare to experience the NHL at its absolute best. As a die-hard hockey fan and TV streaming services critic, I'll guide you through the best platforms to stream the event. We'll compare features like accessibility, broadcast quality, exclusive content, and pricing.

» Want more options? Check out our best sports streaming services.

NHL Play-Off Schedule

The NHL typically releases the full play-off schedule after the regular season concludes on April 18th. You can check out the current schedule for NHL games on the official website. Here are the estimated start dates of the Stanley Cup play-offs:

Estimated Start Date
Play-in round
April 16, 2024
First round
April 22, 2024
Second round
May 8, 2024
Conference finals
May 22, 2024
Stanley Cup Finals
June 4, 2024

Our 5 Best Stanley Cup Play-Offs Streaming Services at a Glance:

  • DIRECTV Stream: Best way to watch the Stanley Cup play-offs overall 
  • ESPN +: Best for extensive NHL coverage 
  • Hulu + Live TV: Best for free trial and bundling packages 
  • Sling TV: Best for those on a budget 
  • fuboTV:  Best for comprehensive sports coverage

Here's a in-depth look at how to watch the Stanley Cup play-offs with the best streaming services around:

1. DIRECTV Stream

Best place to stream the Stanley Cup play-offs overall Start Streaming

Cost - From $69.99/month

Special offers - VISA Reward Card worth up to $400 when you sign up

DIRECTV Stream delivers a winning package for this year’s Stanley Cup play-off action. For $83.99 a month, the platform's CHOICE plan brings unlimited DVR capabilities to record nail-biting overtime victories.

You can customize Sports Central with your favorite hockey teams to see live and upcoming NHL games. You also get real-time league stats, game-time notifications, and pre-game odds.

Why we chose DIRECTV Stream for streaming the Stanley Cup play-offs:

  • Multi-screen viewing
  • Live match access and real-time player/team statistics
  • 140+ channels and 65,000 on-demand titles

2. ESPN+

Best for extensive NHL coverage Start Streaming

Cost - From $10.99/month

Special offers - ESPN+ can be bundled for free with a Hulu + Live TV subscription

ESPN+ provides access to hundreds of hockey games, including out-of-market contests for every team through NHL power play. The service streams in 1080p resolution, allowing you to see the action in crisp detail, whether tuning in for rival conference clashes in the regular season or those thrilling Stanley Cup games in the play-offs.

The platform also broadcasts many other live sports, including MLB, college football and basketball, soccer, rugby, and more. For $14.99 monthly, you can bundle ESPN+ with Hulu and Disney+ for a complete sports and entertainment package.

Why we chose ESPN+ for streaming the Stanley Cup play-offs:

  • On-demand access to original docuseries and exclusive sports analysis
  • All ESPN+ content available through the ESPN app
  • Streams on three devices simultaneously

3. Hulu + Live TV

Best for free trial and bundling packages Start Streaming

Cost - From $76.99/month

Special offers - 7-day free trial

With Hulu + Live TV, you can forget about juggling subscriptions and move beyond traditional cable. Catch every game on ABC, TNT, TBS, ESPN, and ESPN 2, all included in one plan. Plus, you can rewind and relive epic moments with up to nine months of DVR storage.

Delve into Hulu's extensive collection of NHL documentaries and behind-the-scenes specials. This gives you an in-depth look at the history and insights into players. Hulu also streams its on-demand library in immersive Dolby 5.1 surround sound so you can hear every detail.

Why we chose Hulu + Live TV for streaming the Stanley Cup play-offs:

  • Unlimited cloud DVR for recording live games
  • 7-day free trial
  • ESPN+ is included for free

4. Sling TV

Best for those on a budget Start Streaming

Cost - From $40/month

Special offers - Combine Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans for $55/month

Sling TV Orange offers four key channels to catch every slap shot and game-winning goal: TNT, TBS, ESPN, and ESPN 2. But it doesn't include ABC, which occasionally broadcasts some play-off games.

Still, you're likely covered if you live in a primary market like New York or Philadelphia. You can also get an over-the-air antenna to watch the matches on ABC. At just $20 for the first month and $40 after that, it's a budget-conscious way to enjoy the Stanley Cup play-offs in all its glory.

Why we chose Sling TV for streaming the Stanley Cup play-offs:

  • 50 hours of DVR or additional $5 for 200 hours
  • Extra sports content like NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB, NBA, and college football
  • Flexible cancellation policy

» Looking for something different? Try these Sling TV alternatives.

5. fuboTV

Best for comprehensive sports coverage Start Streaming

Cost - From $74.99/month

Special offers - Seven-day free trial

fuboTV carries ABC and ESPN, showcasing every nerve-wracking face-off and thrilling goal. But its appeal extends beyond the ice rink. Whether you're a basketball fanatic, a baseball buff, or a football follower, fuboTV's diverse sports channel lineup caters to various athletic interests.

The service lets you stream on ten screens simultaneously—perfect for hosting a successful watch party and preventing remote-control wars. If you want more sports coverage, Fubo networks broadcast the Premier League, Champions League, MLS, Ligue 1, Liga MX, and many other leagues and tournaments. 

Why we chose fuboTV for streaming the Stanley Cup play-offs:

  • Seamless viewing across multiple platforms
  • Sports Plus package add-on with NFL RedZone
  • 50+ channels of sports, news, novelas, and entertainment in Spanish

How to Boost Your Stanley Cup Play-Offs Viewing

Download NHL-Focused Apps

The NHL app is worth downloading if you want to follow the Stanley Cup play-offs. It provides hockey news, stats, and highlights and lets you watch key plays from the games you missed. So, if you can't catch one of the matchups live, you can still go back and view all the best moments.

The Yahoo Sports app is another valuable option for keeping up with the action. It gives you real-time summaries of scoring plays and penalties. The app also sends score alerts to track the games even if you can't watch. You can get it on Android and iOS.

All the major sports services, like ESPN, provide mobile apps to watch the games on the go. The ESPN app has a "Gamecast" feature, which gives you a live, text-based play-by-play if you can't listen to the commentary. 

Get a VPN

Consider using a VPN (virtual private network) to access regional sports streaming sites that may be geo-restricted in your area. Choosing a fast VPN will allow you to bypass these restrictions without slowing your connection.

Check Your Internet Connection

I'd recommend internet speeds of at least 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) for 4K video streaming. Consider fiber optic or broadband services offering greater bandwidth for seamless viewing.

Also, remember to close any unnecessary apps on your device. This lets you reserve more processing power and bandwidth for your streaming. You can check your internet connection with a simple speed test.

Utilize a Streaming Device

For the best streaming experience, use a dedicated media device rather than your laptop or phone. Streaming sticks and boxes like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield, and Xbox and PlayStation consoles are explicitly designed for high-quality video streaming.

Your Guide to Victory (Without Leaving Your Couch)

Millions of fans tune in yearly for the Stanley Cup play-offs, with last season's finals averaging 2.6 million viewers per game. With some planning and these handy tips, you'll be ready to stream every heart-stopping goal, every bone-crunching check, and every electrifying victory of this year's matchups.

So grab your jersey, gather your friends and family, and get ready to witness hockey history in the making—the puck drops soon. You don't want to miss a second of the action!

» Watching on a budget? Here are 10 reasons why TV streaming is worth it.


When do the Stanley Cup play-offs start?

The official play-offs begin on May 2nd, 2024. The regular season wraps up on April 18, 2024. After that, a play-in tournament occurs for the final two spots in each conference.

Which teams will make it to the Stanley Cup play-offs?

In the Eastern Conference, the top contenders include the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers, with wild cards being the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, and New Jersey Devils.

Meanwhile, in the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Vegas Golden Knights lead as top contenders, with the Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, and Seattle Kraken holding wild card positions.

Which streaming services include the NHL network?

You can stream the NHL network on Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and Disney+ with the ESPN+ bundle.

Sarah Osman-Mikesell - Writer for Top10.com
Sarah Osman-Mikesell has written about film and pop culture for over a decade. She holds a BA in creative writing and is pursuing her master’s degree in the same field. Aside from her work at Top10.com, Sarah’s writing has been featured in SheKnows, The Huffington Post, Success Magazine, and more.