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How To Watch NHL Games Online without Cable

The first puck of the 2017 NHL hockey season drops on Wednesday, October 4th. With October quickly approaching, I thought it was a good time to put together a guide on how to watch NHL games online for those currently or looking to drop their cable or satellite TV package.

How To Watch NHL Without Cable

With any sport, there is an array of licensing deals between team owners and television networks that can frustrate those just trying to watch their favorite NHL team online. However, the amount teams that stream NHL games over an online service has greatly increased over the past few years.

While U.S. based teams on a Fox or NBC regional sports network are fairly easy to watch online, teams on other networks may be hard to find online. Whether you live in the market of your favorite team can also complicate your viewing experience.Today I’ll break all that down and provide a way to stream every NHL game online without cable regardless of where you live.

Watch NHL Online with a Streaming Service

Several NHL teams are available through live streaming services. You can watch these games live as if you had a cable TV subscription. These teams air on NBC and Fox regional sports networks. The most affordable way to watch these teams is with a subscription to Sling TV Blue which is free for 7-days. The teams on Sling TV are as follows:

  • Anaheim Ducks – Fox Sports West
  • Arizona Coyotes – Fox Sports Arizona
  • Carolina Hurricanes – Fox Sports Carolinas
  • Chicago Blackhawks – Comcast SportsNet Chicago
  • Columbus Blue Jackets – Fox Sports Ohio
  • Dallas Stars – Fox Sports Southwest
  • Detroit Red Wings – Fox Sports Detroit
  • Florida Panthers – Fox Sports Florida
  • Los Angeles Kings – Fox Sports West
  • Minnesota Wild – Fox Sports North
  • Nashville Predators – Fox Sports Tennessee
  • San Jose Sharks – Comcast SportsNet California
  • St Louis Blues – Fox Sports Midwest
  • Tampa Bay Lightning – Fox Sports Sun
  • Washington Capitals – Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic

Sling TV Blue only costs $25 per month and provides a ton of networks you are used to seeing on cable TV. It also included NBC SportsNet which will air 2 games nationally every week. You can even pick up the NHL network for an additional $5 a month by adding their Sports add-on package. For more information on those channels, check out my review of Sling TV.

MSG Network and NESN on FuboTV

Now, the next best solution for watching NHL online is FuboTV. They offer the following for $34.99 per month:

  • All the teams and networks listed above on Sling TV
  • Philidelphia Flyers – Comcast Sports Net Philidelphia
  • New York Rangers – MSG Network
  • New York Islanders – MSG Network
  • New Jersey Devils – MSG Network
  • Buffalo Sabres – MSG Network
  • Boston Bruins – NESN Network

While Sling TV and FuboTV are the most affordable way to watch NHL games without cable there are other live streaming services like Hulu TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation VUE that also carry some of these regional sports networks for Hockey fans.

However, what about those teams that aren’t on a streaming service or you aren’t in your market?

NHL.TV Online Streaming (Formerly GameCenter Live)

Formerly known as “GameCenter Live,” NHL.TV makes every NHL regular season game available live online. You can stream live NHL games to Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation, and Xbox.

NHL.TV provides the following features:

  • DVR controls home and away broadcasts
  • Home and Away Broadcasts
  • Multi-game view where you can watch 4 games at once
  • Five alternate camera angles

Unfortunately, like most sports, if a game is airing in your local market or it’s nationally televised then it is subject to blackout. Use this tool to see what team is blacked out in your area.

While NHL.TV is a great solution for watching out of market games, what about in market teams that aren’t streamed though Sling TV or other services? We can still use NHL.TV. We just need a way around the blackout.

Getting Around the Blackout

Services like NHL.TV blackout streaming based on the location of where you are streaming. Therefore, all you need to do is make it look like you are streaming from another location to use get around the blackout.

To do this we can use a SmartDNS to route your traffic through another country and to make it look like you are watching from that country. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a service called Overplay SmartDNS. Be warned that this may violate the terms of service with NHL.TV.

  1. Sign up for Overplay SmartDNS
  2. Follow the instructions here to setup your device
  3. While logged into Overplays website click ” My Account” then click “SMARTDNS”
  4. Here you can configure your SmartDNS settings for the services you want to use, including NHL.TV (It still may be called “NHL Gamecenter”.) Simply set the country to “Mexico.”
  5. Now that it looks like you are in Mexico. Go to NHL.TV and start your free trial. You should now have access to the “International” version of NHL.TV. Create an account (you need a new account, don’t use a  U.S. NHL.TV Account)
  6. You will be asked for a payment method. Using a U.S. based credit card shouldn’t matter.
  7. You are billed for the entire season when the 1-week free trial ends. However, if you cancel before the trial ends you will not be billed. It’s easy to cancel from your account settings.

This method should provide access to every single team no matter where you live.

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Categories: Guides
Dennis Restauro :Dennis is the founder of Grounded Reason. He also hosts the Grounded Reason Podcast. Follow him on Twitter: Follow Dennis on Twitter

View Comments (6)

  • Comcast Sports Net no longer exists. They were all rebranded as NBC Sports ______

    Sling seems like the best bet for NHL, but they are still only at 30fps though, right?

    • Not all CSNs have made the switch to the NBC branding yet. I think all the changes will be final next month. I was planning on updating the article then. While 60 FPS is offered on some, I don't think it's offered on the RSNs. If you need 60 fps, then I'd go with DirecTV Now.

  • How does one determine if they "need" 60 fps? I just assumed it was higher quality?

    • In my experience, 30 fps is fine for most things. The picture with fast past sports does suffer a bit. For me it's manageable. I would say if 30 fps bothers you, then you would need 60. If you don't even notice, then it isn't a big deal.

    • No, you can get a streaming device and hook it to your TV. Check out our guide on how to cut the cord. It acts as a table of contents for the site and links articles to replace pay TV with modern alternatives.