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2019 NHL Playoffs: Stream playoff games and Stanley Cup Finals

It's the best time of year for hockey fans.

New York Islanders v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Four

The New York Islanders star Mathew Barzal during the team's round 1 series sweep against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Maybe it's the sudden-death overtime games. Or facing the same team, game after game, for two straight weeks. Or the trophy -- Lord Stanley's Cup -- itself. 

In every sport, the intensity increases come playoff time, but hockey takes it to another level with the Stanley Cup. There is a striking difference in the level of ferocity between a ho-hum regular-season NHL game and a packed-with-meaning NHL playoff game. There's nothing quite like the Stanley Cup. 

First-round games began back on Wednesday, April 10. Each series is a best-of-seven contest, so you can expect the hockey to run (skate?) into June. 

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How can I watch the NHL playoffs?

In the US, the first round is shown across NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA and the NHL Network. The second and third rounds are on NBC and NBCSN, and the Stanley Cup Finals are on NBC.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app will have livestreams of the games. To stream the games online, you will need to log in with a pay TV account. If you don't have a pay TV subscription, you can livestream the games with a live-TV streaming service

Other stuff to know about live TV streaming services:

Sling TV ($35)

Sling TV's $25-a-month Blue package includes NBC, NBCSN and USA. If you want to watch first-round games on CNBC and the NHL Network, you'll need to add the $5-a-month News Extra and the $5-a-month Sports Extra package, respectively. (The Blue plan is current discounted to $15 a month for the first three months.) You can check to see if you live in the right market for a live feed of NBC here.

See at Sling TV

FuboTV ($45)

FuboTV costs $45 per month and includes NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and USA, but not the NHL Network.

See at FuboTV

Hulu with Live TV ($45)

Hulu with Live TV costs $45 a month and includes NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and USA but not the NHL Network. Click the "View all channels in your area" link on its welcome page to see if a live feed of NBC is offered in your zip code. 

See at Hulu with Live TV

PlayStation Vue ($45)

PlayStation Vue's $45-a-month Access plan includes NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and USA, but not the NHL Network. You can see if a live feed of NBC is available in your area here.

See at PlayStation Vue

YouTube TV ($50)

YouTube TV costs $50 a month and includes NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and USA, but not the NHL Network. Plug in your zip code on its welcome page to see to see if a live feed of NBC is available where you live. 

See at YouTube TV

DirecTV Now ($50)

DirecTV Now's $50-a-month Plus package includes NBC, NBCSN, CNBC and USA, but not the NHL Network. You can use its channel lookup tool to see if you get a live feed of NBC in your zip code.

See at DirectTV Now

This article was originally published April 10.