How to watch the NHL on ESPN, ABC and ESPN Plus

Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn skating
Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn (Image credit: Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Hockey season is back, and the NHL on ESPN (as well as ABC and ESPN Plus) is here to bring you numerous games throughout the season.

Alongside the NHL on TNT, the NHL on ESPN is one of the two main homes for national hockey broadcasts throughout the 2023-2024 season. This year, that will all culminate with the Stanley Cup Finals being played on ESPN/ABC. But we've got a lot of hockey to go before that, a lot of which is going to be available to watch on ESPN.

Here's what you need to know on how to watch the NHL on ESPN, ESPN Plus and ABC.

How to watch the NHL on ESPN Plus

ESPN Plus is a subscription streaming service that currently costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 with a full year commitment. The sports-centric streaming service provides a bevy of live sports as well as original programming from ESPN, including live streams of the NHL. 

ESPN Plus is also included in the Disney streaming bundle, which combines Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu for a single monthly fee of $12.99. It is also now included as a standard feature on Hulu with Live TV, which starts at $69.99 per month. 

FYI, ESPN Plus does not offer a free trial at this time. 

Once you’ve signed up for your ESPN Plus subscription, you can stream all of its content via a computer; Roku; Amazon Fire TV; Xfinity devices; Samsung or other smart TVs; Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles; PlayStation 4 and 5; Apple products; Android phones, tablets and TVs; Google Chromecast; via the Hulu app; and even an Oculus Go. Consumers can also AirPlay ESPN Plus onto their TVs.

For the 2023-2024 ESPN Plus is going to feature nationally televised games that are either streaming exclusively (available on both ESPN Plus and Hulu) or are being simulcast from a broadcast on either ESPN or ABC. It also has streaming plays of regional broadcasts, what it calls NHL Power Play.

How to watch the NHL on ESPN & ABC

ESPN and ABC are two of the traditional broadcast homes for the NHL during the 2023-2024 season (the other is the NHL on TNT).

ESPN is one of the most popular cable sports networks in the US and as such is available on just about every traditional cable provider subscription (though never hurts to double check). ESPN is also available on live TV streaming platforms like FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.

ABC, as one of the four major broadcast networks that is available in essentially every local TV market across the country, is also carried on any basic cable or satellite pay-TV provider and can also be accessed through a TV antenna; simply check your local listing to learn what channel it is on. ABC is also available on live TV streaming services, including FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV.

If you subscribe to either a traditional of live TV streaming service, then you can also use that login information to watch NHL games through ESPN.com or the Watch ESPN app.

NHL on ESPN schedule

Check out the full schedule of NHL games on ESPN, ABC and ESPN Plus/Hulu this week, April 8-14:

Tuesday, April 9

  • Washington Capitals vs Detroit Red Wings, 7 pm ET/4 pm PT, ESPN
  • Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche, 9:30 pm ET/6:30 pm PT, ESPN

Saturday, April 13

  • New York Islanders vs New York Rangers, 12:30 pm ET/9:30 am PT, ABC/ESPN Plus
  • Seattle Kraken vs Dallas Stars, 3 pm ET/noon PT, ABC/ESPN Plus
  • Boston Bruins vs Pittsburgh Penguins, 8 pm ET/5 pm PT, ABC/ESPN Plus

What you need to know about the NHL on ESPN Plus

In addition to exclusive national NHL games on ESPN Plus, the streaming service offers more than 1,000 live out-of-market games for its subscribers. Called NHL Power Play on ESPN Plus, this provides 1,050 games throughout the NHL season, with fans able to choose between the home team or away team's broadcast.

In addition, ESPN Plus features replays of every NHL regular season and playoff game through NHL Power Play on ESPN Plus.

ESPN Plus has been around for a few years now, offering original sports programming as well as exclusive coverage of live sporting events, including college football, college basketball, the PGA Tour, UFC fights and even, prior to this year, some out-of-market NHL games. The streaming service’s investment in hockey has increased exponentially though.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.