Forward Phillip Danault said the Los Angeles Kings showed their character in a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers in game one of the Western Conference First Round.
The Kings, 28/1 to win the Stanley Cup, had a third period goal from Danault and 36 saves from netminder Jonathan Quick to thank for the victory at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Monday.
Los Angeles finished third in the Pacific Division (44-27-11), five points behind the Oilers (49-27-6), who earned home-ice advantage for the best-of-seven series by scooping second.
The Kings are in the play-offs for first time in four seasons, helped by the addition of 29-year-old Danault, who joined on a six-year contract from the Montreal Canadiens in the most recent off-season.
The two-way centreman scored a career-high 27 goals plus 24 assists for 51 points in 79 games during his debut regular season for the Kings.
Before moving to Los Angeles, Danault played a pivotal role in the Canadiens making a surprise run to the Stanley Cup Final last season, during which he was praised for his ability to match-up with and shut-down the opposition's top players.
The Kings entered the first-round in fine form going 5-0-1 in their last six games of the regular season. They were 1-2-1 over the season against the Oilers.
Danault said to the media: "I think obviously no matter how it's ending, if you have one more goal, that's the best ending. I think we showed the character again tonight and we stuck with it and big win."
Game two of the series is in Edmonton on Wednesday.