Coyotes hold off Predators 4-3 in series opener

Ekman-Larsson scored the first of Arizona’s three first-period goals, Darcy Kuemper stopped 40 shots and the Coyotes held on to beat the Predators 4-3 Sunday to open their Stanley Cup qualifier series.

Preview: Preds vs Coyotes in 1st playoff series since ’12

The last time the Coyotes were in the playoffs, they reached the Western Conference finals by beating Nashville in five games. The Predators have reached the postseason each of the past five seasons but lost in six games to Dallas in the first round in April 2019.

Healthy Ekman-Larsson ready to give Coyotes a playoff boost

Ekman-Larsson had another solid season in 2018-19, finishing second on the team with 44 points with 14 goals. He was named to the NHL All-Star team for the fifth time and continued to be one of the NHL’s best offensive defensemen.