Hockey is probably the last sport you'd think of during the dog days of summer, but in this most unusual year, the NHL is back on the ice in August. Instead of resuming its regular season, which was suspended in March, the NHL is jumping straight to the Stanley Cup playoffs with 24 of its 31 teams.
Similar to the NBA bubble in Disney World, the NHL resumed play in two hub cities. The Eastern Conference teams will play in Toronto, and the Western Conference teams will be in Edmonton, Alberta. The Stanley Cup Finals will also be held in Edmonton.
Here's what cord-cutters need to know to watch all the Stanley Cup playoff action.
What's the schedule this weekend?
"Elimination Friday" saw five teams advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and five get, well, eliminated. NHL teams play the final slate of games this weekend before the round of 16 begins. Here's the full schedule.
Saturday, Aug. 8
- Las Vegas Golden Knights vs. Colorado Avalanche, 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) on NBC
- Philadelphia Flyers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) on NBC
Sunday, Aug. 9
- Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals, 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT) on NBCSN
- Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues, 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) on NBC
- Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) on NBCSN
Read more: NBA restart: How to watch live games from the bubble without cable
How can I watch the Stanley Cup playoffs on TV?
In the US, games will be shown nationally on NBC, NBCSN and the USA Network. The NHL Network also broadcast seven games from the round-robin and qualifier rounds.
If you're a fan of your local team, you'll be able to watch most games on your team's regional sports network -- a regional Fox Sports or NBC Sports channel in most cases, such as Fox Sports Midwest for St. Louis Blues games, MSG for Rangers or Islanders fans in the New York area or NBC Sports Washington for Washington Capitals games.
Depending on where you live, one of the major live TV streaming services could carry the local RSN that broadcasts your local team's games. Not every service carries every RSN or local network such as NBC, however, and some teams aren't available on any live TV streaming service, so check each one using the links below to make sure it carries the network you want in your area. I've also included information for NBC, NBCSN, the NHL Network and the USA Network for national hockey broadcasts.
Sling TV's $30-a-month Sling Blue package includes local NBC Sports RSNs, but not Fox Sports RSNs. Sling Blue also includes NBCSN and USA Network. NBC is also a part of Sling Blue but can be watched live in only a handful of markets. The $10-a-month Sports Extra add-on includes NHL Network. Read our Sling TV review.
FuboTV costs $60 a month and includes Fox and NBC Sports RSNs along with NBC, NBCSN and USA Network. You can get NHL Network for an extra $11 a month with the Sports Plus add-on. Click here to see which local channels you get. Read our FuboTV review.
Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes Fox and NBC Sports RSNs. It also features NBC, NBCSN and USA Network but not NHL Network. Click the "View channels in your area" link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code. Read our Hulu with Live TV review.
YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes Fox and NBC Sports RSNs along with NBC, NBCSN and USA Network but not NHL Network. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area. Read our YouTube TV review.
AT&T Now TV Now's $65-a-month Plus package includes NBC, NBCSN and USA Network, but you'll need to spring for the $80-a-month Max package to also receive your local Fox or NBC Sports RSN. Neither plan features NHL Network. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live. Read our AT&T TV Now review.
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