The rivalry between the Sharks and Kings precedes many players on the current rosters, including newcomer Milan Lucic, who joined Los Angeles in June 2015 via trade from Boston.
While the new Kings forward got his feet wet during the regular season, he is ready to fully engage in one of the NHL's most heated battles now that the teams have been matched up in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"Just as an athlete, and a competitor, you kind of thrive off those things and it's easy to look forward to a game when there's a little bit extra involved," Lucic said Wednesday after the Kings' final practice before Game 1, according to NHL.com.
[STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: Lucic: 'Hatred' between LA Kings, Sharks, Ducks great hockey]
"It's never my nature to shy away when rivalries happen," the bruiser added.
Lucic, 6-foot-3, 233 pounds, understands his role, which is to bring the physicality to the opposing team. And he knows what's at stake when the Kings take on the Sharks.
"It's the Battle of California," he said. "And with how many times they've faced each other recently in the playoffs, it adds into a lot of hatred between the teams, and I think it's going to make for an emotional series."
Lucic has been slotted on the first line with Anze Kopitar and Tanner Pearson, and has seen plenty of ice time with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli.
A member of the 2011 Stanley Cup winning Bruins, Lucic has extensive playoff experience, recording 61 points (26g, 35a) in 96 games played.
The Kings went 2-3-0 against the Sharks this season.