Dillon Dube scored two goals to help the Calgary Flames defeat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday.
"You can't lose a series in the first game, so we tried to come out and get momentum our way and build off of it," Dube said. "I think it was a good battle for us, a good test to be able to shut it down. I think we just need to keep rolling with it."
Teams that win Game 1 are 478-219 (68.6 percent) winning a best-of-7 NHL playoff series.
Rasmus Andersson scored the game-winner, and Cam Talbot made 24 saves for the Flames, who are the No. 6 seed in the West after winning their best-of-5 series against the Winnipeg Jets in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers in four games.
"I think the biggest thing for us is we gained some confidence tonight," Calgary coach Geoff Ward said. "I think we learned some things as a team we that we certainly can apply through the rest of the series. For us, it was a good first game, but now we have to park it and move on and get ready for Game 2, Game 3 and Game 4 because they come fast now."
[WATCH: All Flames vs. Stars Game 1 highlights]
Anton Khudobin made 23 saves for the Stars, who are the No. 3 seed in the West after going 1-2-0 in the round-robin portion of the Qualifiers.
"We've been talking about this for a while that when this playoff started, we were going to be playing a team that basically had won a playoff round and it was playoff-ready," Dallas coach Rick Bowness said. "You can talk about it all you want, but again we weren't on our toes consistently enough early. They were. They're feeling very good about themselves with that win against the Jets. That team is a very confident team right now. We were half a step behind early, and it cost us."
Game 2 is in Edmonton, the West hub city, on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, FS-SW).
Andersson gave the Flames a 3-2 lead at 16:01 of the second period with a shot over Khudobin's blocker from the right face-off circle after the Stars scored twice in nine seconds to tie the game.
"We talked about it that the D-men had to start skating a little bit," said Andersson, a defenseman. "I think I came in on a 2-on-2 and I saw a little angle and went for the shot, and luckily it went in."
Dallas had tied the game with two goals in nine seconds. Denis Gurianov's point shot deflected off Calgary defenseman TJ Brodie in the slot at 10:52 of the second, and Jamie Benn's wrist shot from the point bounced by Talbot at 11:01 to make it 2-2.
They were the fastest two postseason goals in Dallas/Minnesota North Stars history. Jon Sim and Kirk Muller scored 12 seconds apart for the Stars in Game 1 of the 2000 Stanley Cup Final against the New Jersey Devils.
Video: CGY@DAL, Gm1: Stars net two in nine seconds to tie it
Gurianov's goal ended Talbot's shutout streak at 122:42.
"I think you look at our last two periods, the way we played, the forechecking game, getting it in deep, possession time in the offensive zone. It's second opportunities," Stars forward Corey Perry said. "Those two goals we scored tonight, there's nothing pretty about them. It's just getting pucks to the net and outworking the opposition, and that's how we have to play."
Calgary killed a 6-on-4 for the final 50 seconds of the third period with defenseman Mark Giordano in the penalty box for delay of game.
"I thought we did a really good job," Andersson said. "Overall the last 50 seconds, I thought we battled really hard and we got away with it."
Dube put Calgary ahead 1-0 at 10:54 of the first period when he one-timed a cross-ice pass from Milan Lucic on the power play.
Lucic, who had four points (one goal, three assists) in the Qualifiers, is the first Flames player with at least one point in each of their first five games in a postseason since Jarome Iginla and Daymond Langkow in 2006.
"He's been buzzing," Dube said of Lucic. "He's flying out there. Everything he does is intense, it's with speed, it makes it really easy for [Sam Bennett] and I to play the way we do when he's direct on it. He's a big presence out there, and I think when he's on, he controls the game a lot."
Video: Dube leads Flames to 3-2 win
Dube made it 2-0 at 18:02 when he drove wide and cut to the net before wrapping the puck around Khudobin.
"We were fortunate enough to get those two right away to get ourselves the lead from the start and just kept rolling with that for the rest of the game," Dube said. "It felt good. Our line has to keep playing that simple game that leads to that success."
Dallas defenseman Stephen Johns (unfit to play) left the game after the second period. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.