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NHL roundup: Coyotes start fast in victory over Predators

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Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators highlights.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the first of Arizona’s three first-period goals, a healthy Phil Kessel had two assists and the Coyotes held on to beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 in Edmonton, Canada, to open their Stanley Cup qualifier series.

The Coyotes made the most of their first postseason appearance since 2012, scoring three goals in the opening period on their way to building a 4-1 lead.

The Predators rallied behind two goals by Filip Forsberg, the second midway through the third period, to cut Arizona’s lead to 4-3.

Darcy Kuemper, who stopped 40 shots, held off Nashville’s late push and the Coyotes snatched momentum heading into Game 2 of the best-of-five series on Tuesday.

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Christian Dvorak, Clayton Keller and Michael Grabner also scored for Arizona.

Ryan Ellis also scored for Nashville and Juuse Saros stopped 33 shots.

Flyers 4, Bruins 1

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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins highlights

Carter Hart stopped 34 shots, and Philadelphia opened the NHL expanded playoffs seeding round with a win over Presidents’ Trophy-winning Boston in Toronto.

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Hart is 11 days shy of his 22nd birthday in becoming the youngest goalie in Flyers history to win a playoff game. Michael Raffl had a goal and assist, while Nate Thompson, Philippe Myers and Scott Laughton also scored for the Flyers.

With 16 teams competing in best-of-five elimination series, the top four teams in each conference are playing a round-robin series to determine seeding entering the first round of the playoffs. Philadelphia finished fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, and the Bruins first.

Chris Wagner scored for the Bruins, who came out flat and were without starting goalie Tuukka Rask, who was deemed unfit to play.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 25 shots starting in place of the Vezina Trophy finalist, who broke a finger on his left hand before the start of training camp.

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Avalanche 2, Blues 1

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Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues highlights.

Nazem Kadri scored a buzzer-beating power-play goal to give Colorado a comeback victory over defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis.

Kadri’s shot crossed the goal line with 0,1 seconds on the clock. The NHL reviewed the play for several minutes before calling it a good goal.

By winning the game held at an empty Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Colorado took an early lead in the seeding race among the top four teams in the West. The Avalanche, Blues, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars have byes into the traditional first round of the NHL playoffs and will each face the winner of a best-of-five qualifying round series.

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The frenzied finish made up for an uneven first 55 minutes or so. In the final two, St. Louis captain Alex Pietrangelo went off slowly after taking a shot off the side of his right knee, teammate Alex Steen took a penalty and the Avalanche put goaltender Jordan Binnington and the Blues penalty kill under siege.

Blue Jackets 2, Maple Leafs 0

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Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs highlights.

Joonas Korpisalo stopped 28 shots in his first playoff start, Cam Atkinson scored early in the third period and Columbus beat Toronto in Game 1 of their best-of-five qualifying round series.

After Korpisalo matched Toronto veteran goalie Frederik Andersen through the first two periods, Atkinson’s snap shot from the top of the right circle went under Andersen’s right arm 1:05 into the third.

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Alexander Wennberg sealed the win with an empty-netter with 19 seconds remaining.

Andersen had 34 saves for the Maple Leafs.


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