Coach Mike Sullivan praised the character of the Pittsburgh Penguins after they recovered from giving up a three-goal advantage to take a 2-1 series lead over the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference first round.
The Penguins, 20/37 to win the best-of-seven series, were pegged back from 4-1 up by the Rangers before a Danton Heinen strike midway through the third period and two empty net goals secured a 7-4 victory.
Pittsburgh scored four goals on their first 11 shots on goal, chasing Igor Shesterkin from the Rangers net.
The Penguins also had their own story in net with 30-year-old Louis Domingue thrust into the starter's role following injuries to both Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith.
Domingue made 32 saves to record the victory, his second in a row after making 17 saves in relief of DeSmith to secure a triple overtime win in game two.
Sullivan was hired by the Penguins in December in 2015 and led them to back-to-back Stanley Cups.
Pittsburgh have never missed the play-offs under the stewardship of Sullivan who most recently finishing third in the Metropolitan Division with a 46-25-11 record.
Sullivan said to the media: "What might be the most rewarding part for me as the coach in winning this game is that a lot of teams - when you allow a team back into the game in the fashion that we did - in a lot of those instances, a lot of teams don't recover from that.
"I think it speaks volumes for the character of the group and the leadership that we have, that we were able to move by it."