Hearts welcomed Mark De Vries back to lead their attack after his injury lay-off and although he looked far from fit, his sheer bulk made him a handful for the Kilmarnock defence.
The fact that Killie boss Jim Jefferies is a Tynecastle legend would have lead you to expect a feisty encounter as he welcomed his former team to Rugby Park for first time, but the first half was played at a geriatric pace.
Kris Boyd had a great chance to put Killie into an early lead after good lead up play from Paul Di Giacomo, but the youngster lashed the ball across the face of goal with Stevie Murray in a good position.
Hearts were restricted to long-range efforts in the first half, but didn't take long to open the scoring in the second.
It was a soft goal, fitting of the game. Steven Pressley sent De Vries scurrying to the right wing with a long pass from defence. The striker turned inside Greg Shields, whose slip allowed De Vries to get his shot away.
The shot appeared to be scuffed, but the mis-hit wrong-footed Gordon Marshall in the Killie goal and he could not re-adjust himself in time to stop the ball crossing the goalline.
Kilmarnock substitute Craig Dargo forced Roddy McKenzie into a good stop minutes after coming on and Alan Mahood lost his bearings in front of goal, but Hearts and de Vries always looked the likelier to score