After a delay, the NHL Playoffs for 2021 are here and you can watch games from the UK to find out who will win the Stanley Cup. It’s not as easy as some sports but here’s what you need to know about watching live streams on TV and online.
Will the Tampa Bay Lightning retain the ice hockey championship or could a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs break the longest-running drought (52 seasons) of failing to reach the Stanley Cup Final?
How to watch NHL Playoffs in the UK
Unfortunately, not even Sky Sports, let alone free-to-air channels like BBC or Channel 5, currently shows the NHL in the UK. That makes it a lot harder to watch compared to other American sports like NBA or NFL.
However, Premier Sports is a paid-for channel you can add to your Sky and Virgin Media package. It costs £10.99 per month (pm) on Sky for four channels and oddly £12.99pm on Virgin for just three.
While BT Sport is a major sports broadcaster in the UK, it only has the rights to show selected games for the 2021 season. However, there’s nothing on the schedule for the Playoffs according to the website.
You might be best off with the official NHL streaming service. It doesn’t have a UK site but you can still use it by paying via credit card or PayPal. You’ll have to pay in US dollars and it's only $19.99 for the entire playoffs and Stanley Cup finals.
NHL.tv is available on a wide range of devices including phones, tablet, desktop, console and media streamers like Amazon Fire TV and Roku – although availability in the UK might vary so check the app store before you sign up.
The streaming services lets you watch games live as well as catch highlights and plenty more content. Just note that blackouts do apply so if a game is being shown on Premier Sports, for example, it won’t be available on NHL.tv.
To get around this, you could try using a VPN (virtual private network) to make your device browse from the US instead of the UK. We recommend NordVPN or Surfshark but you can also look at our list of the best VPNs for other options.
However, you may face a US blackout if the game you want to watch is being shown on a local US TV channel like NBC and CNBC so play around with different servers.
Use a VPN to watch NHL for free
It’s also possible to use a VPN to watch some NHL live streams for free. You can virtually browse from Canada to sign up for a free CBC Gem account and watch games there.
Here are the confirmed games for Premier Sports 1 and 2, which we’ll update regularly:
19 June - 1:00am - Vegas Golden Knights at Montréal Canadiens
20 June - 1:00am - Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders
22 June - 1:00am - New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning
Which teams are in the NHL Playoffs 2021?
As is typical for American sports, there are 16 teams in the playoffs with eight teams from different divisions:
- Colorado Avalanche
- St. Louis Blues
- Las Vegas Golden Knights
- Minnesota Wild
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Montréal Canadiens
- Edmonton Oilers
- Winnipeg Jets
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- New York Islanders
- Washington Capitals
- Boston Bruins
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Nashville Predators
- Florida Panthers
- Tampa Bay Lightning