Dallas Stars

Stars following similar path to brink of first conference final in 11 years

The Dallas Stars have followed the same path against the St. Louis Blues as they did in the first round against the Nashville Predators.

They split the first two road games, lost Game 3 at home, before taking the lead with consecutive wins in Game Nos. 4 and 5, including Friday night’s 2-1 win in St. Louis.

They can reach their first Western Conference Finals since 2008 with a Game 6 win at 2 p.m. Sunday at American Airlines Center.

Stars coach Jim Montgomery said Game 6 is less about making strategic adjustments than players asserting their will on the ice.

“Really it’s just about playing to your strengths and it comes down to player’s will to win individual battles and to create momentum for your team when they’re out there on the ice,” he said.

Stars players talked of treating Game 6 against the Predators like a Game 7. If the Blues even the series on Sunday, the series would shift back to St. Louis for Game 7 at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Montgomery, however, said his coaching staff doesn’t view it like that.

“I know that’s not the sense that we have as a staff,” he said. “We go into every game trying to have a great start and worrying about staying in the moment in that game.”

But having the experience of that first round in Game 6 could benefit his team.

“I think that’s going to help us be better for tomorrow,” Montgomery said.

The Stars-Blues winner advances to play the San Jose Sharks-Colorado Avalanche winner in the conference finals. That series is tied with Game 5 late Saturday night.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.