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How To Watch NHL Games Online without Cable

The first puck of the 2018 NHL hockey season drops on Wednesday, October 3rd when the Toronto Maple Leafs square off against the Montreal Canadiens. 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 of 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. You just need to be living in the market for the regional sports network (RSN) that covers your team. The streaming service covering the most NHL teams is FuboTV. They offer a free trial and cover the following NHL teams.

  • 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
  • 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

Sign Up For A Free Trial to FuboTV

FuboTV also includes NBC SportsNet which will air 2 games nationally every week. After the free trial, FuboTV only costs $39.99 for the first month $45.99 for each month after that. The streaming service also provides a ton of networks you are used to seeing on cable TV. You can see all the channels available to you in your area through this link.

FuboTV provides access to every U.S. NHL team with the exceptions of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche air on Altitude regional sports network while the Penguins and Golden Knights air on AT&T SportsNet. Those networks aren’t currently covered by streaming services in the U.S.

If you live in Canada and want to watch the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, or Winnipeg Jets you can take a look at Sportsnet Now (not the same as AT&T SportsNet).

Other Ways to Watch NHL Online

Your next best option for watching the NHL online is with Sling TV’s Blue Package. They are missing the Flyers, Bruin,  and al the teams on MSG Networks. However, you can still watch the following if you are in that market:

  • 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 also includes 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. They also offer a free trial. For more information on those channels, check out my review of Sling TV.

While Sling TV and FuboTV are the best ways to watch NHL games without cable there are other live streaming services like Hulu TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation VUE that also carry some of these regional sports networks for Hockey fans. Here is a breakdown of what to expect with those services.

YouTube TV – Provides everything you get with FuboTV except the MSG Network. So you will be missing out on the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and Buffalo Sabres. This service costs $40 per month.

Hulu Live TV – Hulu is exactly the same as YouTube TV except they do not cover NESN so there are no Bruins games. Their service also costs $40 per month.

DirecTV Now – DTV Now is similar to FuboTV but you need to pick up their $55 per month service. Unlike FuboTV, however, they don’t carry NESN so there are no Bruins games.

PlayStation VUE – Carries everything YouTube TV does but at $50 per month.

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.

You get the Strong DNS for free when you sign up for StrongVPN. So just doing the following should get you around the blackout.

  1. Sign up for StrongVPN
  2. Follow the instructions here to set up your device

Once the Smart DNS is set up, you can sign up for NHL.TV. You can use your current billing address. The SmartDNS will still open up all games since you are based abroad from the perspective of NHL.TV.

StrongVPN’s  Smart DNS is a legal way to get around the blackout. Furthermore, you now have access to a VPN service for added security.

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

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