How to Watch the Stanley Cup Live Stream

The best hockey live streams of the year

Tampa Bay and Toronto fight it out ahead of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Claus Andersen/Stringer/Getty Images

The 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs officially start on April 10th, and run through mid-to-late June, as the 16 best teams in the NHL fight it out to see whose names will be etched in the bottom band. If you've cut the cord and don't want to miss a moment of the action on the ice, or you just want to be able to catch a game here or there without being glued to your TV, we'll show you all of your best options to watch Stanley Cup live streams.

NBC has the broadcast rights for the Stanley Cup, and games are set to appear on NBC, NBC Sports, CNBC, USA, and possibly even the Golf Channel, so the best way to stream is through your cable provider or a streaming service like Hulu or YouTube TV that has good coverage for NBC's family of networks.

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Schedule

Stanley Cup begins: April 10, 2019
Time: TBA
Stream: NBC, NBC Sports, CNBC, USA

How to Watch the 2019 Stanley Cup Live Stream

In 2019, NHL playoff games will be broadcast on at least four different channels, including three cable channels and one major network. You can't catch all of the action if you rely on an antenna to watch TV, and even if you do have cable, you'll need to check to make sure that your package includes all of the necessary channels.

For cord cutters, the best way to catch the full Stanley Cup playoffs in 2019 is through a live streaming television service.

If you want to watch every game in the 2019 NHL playoffs, or at least have the option to, these are the channels that will air games:

  • NBC: Stanley Cup games are set to air on NBC throughout the playoffs, and the finals will be split between NBC and NBC Sports. If you want to catch the most important games, you absolutely need to have NBC.
  • NBC Sports: Games air on NBC Sports throughout the playoffs, and a couple games from the Stanley Cup finals also air on this network. That makes this your second highest priority.
  • CNBC: A lot of games, especially early round games, air on CNBC, so this is also an important network to target.
  • USA: NBC typically chooses to air a decent number of first round Stanley Cup games on USA. If you want access to these games, make sure you have some way to watch or stream USA.
  • The Golf Channel, NHL Network: Historically, NBC has chosen to air a handful of Stanley Cup games on these channels. In case NBC opts to air a game on one of them, it may pay off to have access.

How to Access Stanley Cup Live Streams From NBC, NBC Sports, CNBC, and USA

Since individual games will appear on four different networks, with the potential to appear on a couple others, the best way to stream the NHL playoffs is to use a streaming service that includes everything.

These television streaming services provide live access to the same channels you would normally watch through cable or satellite, but you stream them over the internet instead. To take advantage of one of these services, you need a subscription to the service, a device that's capable of streaming, and a high speed internet connection.

Devices that are capable of streaming include your computer, through any modern web browser, your smartphone, a set-top box like a Roku, and even game consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

These services all provide access to different combinations of channels, and some have better coverage for networks like NBC. That means some of them have better coverage for NHL playoff games than others.

Every service in this list provides some type of free trial. You can use the trial to watch at least a few Stanley Cup playoff games for free, but you will be charged if you don't cancel before the trial period ends.

Here are your options, including the relevant channels they offer:

  NBC Sports CNBC USA NBC
YouTube TV Yes Yes Yes Widest coverage
Hulu With Live TV Yes Yes Yes Good coverage
PlayStation Vue Yes Yes Yes Missing some key markets
DirecTV Now Yes Yes Yes Decent coverage
Sling TV Sling Blue Add-on Sling Blue Limited markets
fuboTV Yes Yes Yes Limited markets

For most people, Hulu with Live TV will represent the best option for streaming NHL playoffs games in 2019. It includes NBC Sports, CNBC, USA, and also has NBC in more markets than its competitors.

YouTube TV is also a good option, as it offers all of the necessary channels and has NBC in a large number of markets. PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now are both viable options as well, if either service offers NBC where you live.

FuboTV is also a fine option, but they only offer NBC in a limited number of markets. The same is true of Sling TV, but if you choose Sling, you'll need to pay for the News Extra add-on.

Since the Stanley Cup finals air on NBC Sports and NBC, and the availability of NBC differs from one service to the next depending on the specific deals each one has signed, it's important to actually check each service to see if NBC is available in your ZIP code. While Hulu with Live TV is the best option for most people, it's imperative that you check to make sure that Hulu actually offers NBC in your zip code.

Live Stream the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Your Phone, Tablet, or Streaming Device

If you want to watch the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs on your mobile device, set top box, or game console, here are the apps you'll need:

We're including links to the Hulu app because that service offers the best NHL playoffs coverage, at the best price, for the most people. The other streaming services all have their own mobile apps, so make sure to check them out if you choose a different service.

How to Stream the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs On NBC and NBC Sports

If you have a cable subscription, or you are able to borrow login information from a friend or family member, you can also stream many Stanley Cup playoff games through NBC Sports.

Here's how to stream through NBC Sports:

  1. Navigate to nbcsports.com/nhl-all-access.

  2. If a game is currently on the air, you'll be able to watch a short preview for free. If you want to remove the time limit and watch the entire game, click VERIFY NOW.

    A screenshot of NBC Sports.
  3. Click or tap your TV provider.

    A screenshot of the NBC Sports TV provider selection page.
  4. Enter the username and password associated with your cable or satellite television account.

    A screenshot of the NBC Sports TV provider login page.
  5. The limit will be lifted, and you'll be able to watch the entire game.

Using Ace Stream to Watch the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs for Free

If none of the official options work, or you don't have access to them due to your location or any other reason, Ace Stream is the next best option for streaming NHL playoff games. Ace Stream is an app that streams audio and video from other users, so watching sports like the Stanley Cup playoffs through this method is free.

The catch is that Ace Stream doesn't always provide the highest quality audio or video, and finding streams can be difficult. Since it relies on other fans to broadcast their own streams of individual games, this method can be hit or miss.

Before you can stream with this method, you have to download and install Ace Stream. We have a guide to streaming sports online with Ace Stream if you're unfamiliar with the process.

Once you have Ace Stream running on your device, you need to find a content ID for the game you want to watch. Content IDs are like addresses that Ace Stream uses to locate and stream something.

The NHL Streams subreddit is usually a good place to look for free content IDs, and other links to Stanley Cup playoff streams. You can also find similar content on Discord.

If you aren't able to find a content ID through that method, you can usually find them through a search engine. To accomplish this, you would need to open your favorite search engine and enter a query like this:

2019 Stanley Cup playoffs Ace Stream content ID

Don't pay anyone for a content ID, never provide your credit card information or any other personal information, and exercise caution whenever you visit an unfamiliar site that offers content IDs or free sports streams. Consider installing a good ad blocker, and avoid clicking ads on these sites.

Free Online Sports Websites to Stream the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

As a method of last resort, the final option for live streaming the Stanley Cup playoffs is to use a free sports streaming website. These sites don't have the rights to stream NHL games, or any games at all, so they typically link to free streams.

Here are the names of some free sports streaming sites that usually provide Stanley Cup playoff games:

  • Stream2Watch
  • FromHot
  • Bosscast
  • Cricfree

For more information about how free sports streaming websites work, take a look at our full guide to streaming free sports online.

Free sports streaming websites are usually supported by intrusive pop up ads, and sometimes even have malicious ads that are capable of hijacking your browser or installing malware on your computer. Before you visit any of these sites, you may want to install a good ad-blocking plugin and white list only sites you trust.

The Full 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Calendar

Visit ESPN for the 2019 Stanley Cup playoff matchups. Here's the upcoming 2019 NHL Playoffs schedule, which kicks off on April 10th:

TBA