After nearly two months of NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Stanley Cup Finals will get underway tonight, June 28, between the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, led by their captain Steven Stamkos and Vezina Trophy finalist (for best goaltender) Andrei Vasilevskiy, are the defending Stanley Cup Champions. If they win the series, it would be the franchise’s third Stanley Cup and continue the recent winning ways of the Tampa Bay sports area.
The Montreal Canadiens were major underdogs coming into the 2021 NHL Playoffs, but have advanced behind Hall-of-Fame-bound goaltender Carey Price as well as young breakouts like Cole Caufield. The Canadiens are one of the NHL’s original six teams and have more Stanley Cups (24) than any other team in league history. However, these Stanley Cup Finals mark the Canadiens’ first since 1993. Winning would not only end their Stanley Cup drought, but that of all Canadian teams (Montreal was the last team from Canada to win the Cup in '93).
The 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will conclude a unique season that was shortened because of the COVID-19 pandemic and featured realigned divisions, including an all Canada division, to reduce travel and deal with safety precautions. This has resulted in a unique Stanley Cup Final that barring some major changes we will never see again, as Montreal and Tampa Bay are both Eastern Conference teams in the NHL’s traditional format, which is expected to be used again in the 2021-2022 season.
The puck drops for the seven-game Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning series tonight, June 28. Here is how to watch the NHL Stanley Cup Finals from anywhere.
How to watch the NHL Stanley Cup Finals in the U.S.
For the final time, NBC and its affiliate networks will carry the NHL Stanley Cup Finals (ESPN and Turner Sports have acquired the NHL broadcast and streaming rights starting with the 2021-2022 season). NBC will carry NHL Stanley Cup Final games on both its broadcast networks and its Peacock streaming service. Here is the schedule for the games:
June 28 — Game 1, Canadiens 1 at Lightning 5
June 30 — Game 2, Canadiens 1 at Lightning 3
July 2 — Game 3, Lightning 6 at Canadiens 3, 8 p.m. ET; NBC/Peacock
July 5 — Game 4, Lightning 2 at Canadiens 3, 8 p.m. ET; NBC/Peacock
July 7 — Game 5, Canadiens 0 at Lightning 1, 8 p.m. ET; NBC/Peacock
The NBC and NBCSN broadcasts can be viewed via traditional cable packages or for those with vMVPD services like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and FuboTV. Viewers using broadcast antennas can access games 3 to 7 on their local NBC channels.
To stream the games on Peacock, viewers must be signed up for Peacock’s premium packages. The Peacock Premium price is $4.99 per month and features ads, while Peacock Premium Plus costs $9.99 per month but has no ads.
The games can also be watched online through the NBC Sports website or the NBC Sports app.
How to watch the NHL Stanley Cup Finals in Canada
For the first time since 2011, a Canadian NHL team is in the Stanley Cup Finals, which will likely bring more eyeballs to the screen as the country attempts to bring the Stanley Cup back to the Great White North. Hockey fans across all of Canada will have multiple avenues to watch the games as CBC, SportsNet and TVA Sports will broadcast the entire series.
In addition, CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports app will offer live streams of the series, as will SportsNet NOW, SN Now+ and NHL Live.
How to watch the NHL Stanley Cup Finals anywhere in the world
If you’re looking to watch the Stanley Cup Finals but don’t have access to these U.S. and Canadian-based broadcasts, you can still tune in for live coverage of the Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning series by accessing a VPN.
A VPN (virtual private network) routes the network traffic to and from your computer through a specific set of servers in a specific country. In a nutshell, if you are not in the U.S. or Canada but want to access the broadcast feed, a VPN creates methods for you to watch an encrypted feed from whichever country.
ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.
And it's a great way to keep up with all of the action of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals from anywhere in the world.View Deal
Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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