Conference Finals: How To Get Best Deals on 2019 NHL Playoff Tickets

Of the four teams remaining in the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, only two were there last year, and one is making its first appearance in a decade. Demand for tickets on the secondary market is down, according to secondary ticket marketplace TicketIQ.com, making this season a great opportunity for fans to see playoff hockey.

The Boston Bruins are making their third consecutive appearance after losing in the second round last season, and will play the Carolina Hurricanes, who hadn’t made the playoffs since 2009-10 prior to this go-round. The Eastern Conference Final series starts May 9 at Boston’s TD Garden.

In the Western Conference, the San Jose Sharks are making their fourth straight playoff appearance – and that includes a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015-16. This time around, the Sharks will play the St. Louis Blues, who missed the postseason last year. The Western Conference Final series starts Saturday at San Jose.

According to TicketIQ, the average asking prices for these series are among the lowest of the decade. The $323 series average asking price for the Western Conference Final is the second lowest since 2011, and the $366 Eastern Conference average is the seventh lowest.

For fans looking ahead Stanley Cup tickets are available for all four teams. Right now the Hurricanes, despite being down 0-2 to the Bruins, have the most expensive 'get-in' price for a home game in the speculative Finals market.

Below is a look at both matchups.

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes

  • Series average asking price: $366
  • Boston average asking price/get-in price: $379/$145
  • Carolina average asking price/get-in price: $349/$180

This series has the highest average asking price for an Eastern Conference Final in four years, but it’s only the fifth priciest since 2011, when secondary ticket marketplace TicketIQ.com began tracking data. In terms of historical perspective, the $180 get-in price at Carolina isn’t only the priciest of the two conference finals, it is the 11th most expensive on the secondary market since 2011. The $145 Boston get-in price is the 16th priciest.

The Bruins advanced by beating Columbus in six games and the Hurricanes swept the Islanders. This meeting will be the fifth in the playoffs between the two franchises. The first two were when the Hurricanes were the Hartford Whalers. Since their 1997 relocation to Carolina, the teams have split their playoff meetings, with the Bruins winning in the conference quarterfinals in 1997-98, and Carolina winning in the conference semifinals in 2008-09. Carolina made the playoffs this season for the first time since 2009-10, while Boston has been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice since 2010-11, when it beat Vancouver.

 
Game Date Tickets
Game 1 @ BOS May 9 From $145
Game 2 @ BOS May 12 From $174
Game 3 @ CAR May 14 From $175
Game 4 @ CAR May 16 From $167
Game 5 @ BOS May 18 From $308
Game 6 @ CAR May 20 From $195
Game 7 @ BOS May 22 From $378

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WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues

  • Series average asking price: $323
  • San Jose average asking price/get-in price: $366/$127
  • St. Louis average asking price/get-in price: $267/$113

This series represents a great deal for fans – it’s the second cheapest in terms of average asking price on the secondary market since 2011, when TicketIQ began tracking data. Only the 2012 series between Vancouver and San Jose, which had an average asking price of $222, was cheaper. The priciest Western Conference Final cost fans $652 in 2017, when the Nashville Predators made an unlikely run to the Finals, and beat Anaheim in the conference finals.

The secondary market average asking price in San Jose is significantly higher than in St. Louis, which is the cheapest place to see a conference final this season. Historically speaking, the $267 average asking price in St. Louis is the third cheapest of the decade, and the get-in price is the bottom 10. 

San Jose needed seven games to beat Colorado in the conference semifinals and advance. The Sharks are making their fourth consecutive postseason appearance, and were Stanley Cup runners-up in 2015-16 – they beat the Blues in the conference finals to advance that season. This meeting marks the sixth time the teams have played in the postseason, and San Jose holds a 3-2 postseason advantage. The Blues eliminated Dallas in seven games to advance and are making their first playoff appearance after failing to qualify last season. Prior to that, St. Louis had advanced to the postseason six straight years.

Game Date Tickets
Game 1 @ SJ May 11 From $127
Game 2 @ SJ May 13 From $131
Game 3 @ STL May 15 From $113
Game 4 @ STL May 17 From $129
Game 5 @ SJ May 19 From $206
Game 6 @ STL May 21 From $169
Game 7 @ SJ May 23 From $268

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With the NHL Playoffs quarterfinals in the books, it's now onto the semifinals.  Below is the change in price for each of the advancing teams. TicketIQ offers Low Price Guarantees on all NHL Playoff tickets. With TicketIQ's Low Price Guarantee, if you find the same ticket for less (after fees) on any other major secondary site like StubHub or Seatgeek, TicketIQ will give you 200% of the difference toward the purchase.

With major first round upsets knocking out the Lightning, Flames, Maples Leafs, and Jets-- along with both Stanley Cup finalists Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals--it's anyone's Cup to grab. Of the eight teams left, three have never won a championship (Sharks, Blues, Blue Jackets). For the Islanders, it's been 36 years. The Stars last hoisted the Cup in 1999 when Derian Hatcher wore the C, while the Avalanche last won in 2001 with Patrick Roy tended goal. Only the Hurricanes and Bruins have won a Stanley Cup championship in the last fifteen years, which should make an exciting May and June for all the teams left.

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Below is the list of each team. ranked from most expensive to least expensive at the beginning of each series.

Team Average Price Cheapest Price  Tickets
Stars $390 $100
Islanders $365 $103
Bruins $322 $95
Avalanche $318 $121
Hurricanes $302 $182
Blue Jackets $295 $151
Blues $264 $47
Sharks $233 $100

Conference Quarterfinals:

The long road to the Stanley Cup – the playoffs don’t end until June – is underway, and this version of the postseason will include a lot of firsts. Why? Of the eight series, five feature teams that have never met in the playoffs, including three in the Western Conference. Remarkably, only San Jose and two-year-old Vegas have played each other in the postseason before. The other three series are first-time playoff matchups.

In the Eastern Conference, Pittsburgh is in the playoffs for the 13th straight season, the longest streak of any team in the NHL, and the Carolina Hurricanes ended a 10-year playoff drought by qualifying.

First-round games started on April 10, and should any Game 7s be necessary, those could be scheduled as late at April 24. Stanley Cup Finals tickets have been trending up and up over the last decade, and last season’s Washington-Vegas final had the highest average asking price in history at $2,724, according to secondary ticket marketplace TicketIQ.com.

The most storied – and most expensive – matchup this year is Boston versus Toronto. The Bruins eliminated the Maple Leafs in seven games in the second round last season. According to TicketIQ.com, the average asking price for that series is trending at a league-high $429, and the average for a game in Toronto also leads the league with a $626 average. The second priciest series is the San Jose-Vegas matchup, which is trending at  $345, and tickets to a game at Vegas have an average asking price of $557.

Below is a look at all eight of the first-round match-ups: 

EASTERN CONFERENCE 

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Series average asking price: $304
  • Tampa Bay average asking price/get-in price: $319/$78 
  • Columbus average asking price/get-in price: $284/$90

Tickets to a game at Tampa Bay are the third most expensive across the eight Eastern Conference sites. These teams have never met in the playoffs before. Tampa Bay is making its second straight playoff appearance and fourth since advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014-15. Columbus is playing in its fifth playoffs since joining the league as an expansion team in 2000-01.

Game-By-Game Prices Avg Get-In
Game 1 @ TB $224 $78
Game 2 @ TB $309 $116
Game 3 @ CBJ $317 $115
Game 4 @ CBJ $314 $92
Game 5 @ TB $375 $110
Game 6 @ CBJ $222 $90
Game 7 @ TB $367 $105

 

Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Series average asking price: $429
  • Boston average asking price/get-in price: $281/$31
  • Toronto average asking price/get-in price: $626/$179

This series has the NHL’s highest average asking price on the secondary market and the average for a game at Toronto is also the highest in the NHL. These teams have a rich playoff history, and you only have to look to last season to get a taste of the excitement – the Bruins eliminated the Maple Leafs in seven games in the second round. This series marks the 16th time the teams have met in the postseason. 

Game-By-Game Prices Avg Get-In
Game 1 @ BOS $201 $31
Game 2 @ BOS $289 $39
Game 3 @ TOR $645 $179
Game 4 @ TOR $607 $262
Game 5 @ BOS $305 $110
Game 6 @ TOR $625 $302
Game 7 @ BOS $329 $110

 

Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes

  • Series average asking price: $211
  • Washington average asking price/get-in price: $221/$60
  • Carolina average asking price/get-in price: $197/$83

The cheapest first-round Eastern Conference series, this season marks the first time the Capitals and Hurricanes have met in the postseason. The defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals won the Metropolitan Division for the fourth consecutive season, and are making their fifth straight playoff appearance. The Hurricanes are making their first in 10 years, and only sixth since moving to Carolina from Hartford. Despite that, Carolina won the Stanley Cup Finals 2005-06, and got to the final in 2001-02.

Game-By-Game Prices Avg Get-In
Game 1 @ WAS $197 $60
Game 2 @ WAS $249 $85
Game 3 @ CAR $218 $126
Game 4 @ CAR $212 $122
Game 5 @ WAS $199 $81
Game 6 @ CAR $161 $83
Game 7 @ WAS $240 $98

 

New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Series average asking price: $305
  • New York average asking price/get-in price: $392/$175
  • Pittsburgh average asking price/get-in price: $189/$73

This series has the second highest average asking price in the Eastern Conference, and a secondary market ticket to an Islanders home game is the second priciest in the Eastern Conference, as well. The Islanders and Pens have played in four previous postseason series, and the Islanders have won three of those. New York qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2015-16, while the Pens have not missed the playoffs since 2005-06. They won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Game-By-Game Prices Avg Get-In
Game 1 @ NYI $251 $176
Game 2 @ NYI $388 $220
Game 3 @ PIT $237 $84
Game 4 @ PIT $148 $73
Game 5 @ NYI $419 $175
Game 6 @ PIT $183 $80
Game 7 @ NYI $510 $206

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars

  • Series average asking price: $341
  • Nashville average asking price/get-in price: $369/$35
  • Dallas average asking price/get-in price: $303/$88

The second priciest Western Conference first-round series, the Preds and Stars have never met in the postseason before. Nashville is playing in its fifth straight playoffs, and in 2016-17, after finishing fourth in the Central Division, got all the way to the Finals before losing to Pittsburgh. The Stars, on the other hand, are playing in their first playoffs since 2015-16, and only third since 2008-09. Dallas won the franchise’s only Stanley Cup in 1998-99.

Game-By-Game Prices Avg Get-In
Game 1 @ NASH $193 $35
Game 2 @ NASH $281 $139
Game 3 @ DAL $278 $105
Game 4 @ DAL $287 $99
Game 5 @ NASH $470 $129
Game 6 @ DAL $345 $88
Game 7 @ NASH $533 $157

 

Winnipeg Jets vs. St. Louis Blues

  • Series average asking price: $280
  • Winnipeg average asking price/get-in price: $349/$132
  • St. Louis average asking price/get-in price: $188/$60

A ticket on the secondary market to see this series in Winnipeg is the third most expensive across the eight Western Conference sites. Winnipeg is coming off a second-place finish in the Central Division and created lots of excitement in last year’s playoffs when it reached the conference finals before losing to upstart Vegas. Since their inception in 1967-68, the Blues have never won a Stanley Cup, and despite a rich playoff history, failed to qualify last season. These teams are playing for the first time in the postseason.

Game-By-Game Prices Avg Get-In
Game 1 @ WIN $336 $189
Game 2 @ WIN $331 $132
Game 3 @ STL $217 $77
Game 4 @ STL $159 $60
Game 5 @ WIN $453 $225
Game 6 @ STL $187 $74
Game 7 @ WIN $275 $275

 

Calgary Flames vs. Colorado Avalanche

  • Series average asking price: $242
  • Calgary average asking price/get-in price: $286/$68
  • Colorado average asking price/get-in price: $183/$81

The cheapest of the Western Conference first-round series on the secondary market, the Flames and Avalanche have never played in the postseason. Since advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003-04, the Flames have not advanced past the second round, and didn’t get to the playoffs last season. This time around, Calgary enters the playoffs as the Pacific Division champions. The Avalanche finished fifth in the Central Division and are making their second straight playoff appearance after failing to qualify the three previous seasons.

Game-By-Game Prices Avg Get-In
Game 1 @ CAL $157 $68
Game 2 @ CAL $259 $105
Game 3 @ COL $188 $81
Game 4 @ COL $177 $82
Game 5 @ CAL $320 $107
Game 6 @ COL $184 $105
Game 7 @ CAL $410 $124

 

San Jose Sharks vs. Vegas Golden Knights

  • Series average asking price: $345
  • San Jose average asking price/get-in price: $186/$55
  • Vegas average asking price/get-in price: $557/$195

This series has the highest average asking price in the Western Conference, and the second highest in the NHL behind the Bruins-Maple Leafs series. Demand for games at Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena has pushed average asking prices to $557, second only to Toronto’s $626. Vegas was the story of the NHL last season when it became the first expansion team in North American sports history to qualify for its sport’s final. Though Vegas’ history only spans two seasons, this series marks the second time the Sharks and Golden Knights have met in the postseason. San Jose has missed the playoffs only six times since joining the league as an expansion team in 1991-92, and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015-16, but lost to Pittsburgh.

Game-By-Game Prices Avg Get-In
Game 1 @ SJ $158 $55
Game 2 @ SJ $200 $80
Game 3 @ VGK $504 $195
Game 4 @ VGK $494 $245
Game 5 @ SJ $165 $65
Game 6 @ VGK $673 $285
Game 7 @ SJ $220 $87

Below is a look at the top ten most expensive Stanley Cup Playoff 1st round series based on average list price and get-in price:

 

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