To advance to the Western Conference Finals, the Dallas Stars will have to do something they haven’t done in 19 years.
They’ll have to win a Game 7. On the road.
The series finale is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. Dallas won Game Nos. 2 and 5 in St. Louis.
If recent history is a guide, the Stars face an uphill battle. In the first round in 2019, three of the four teams that had a chance to advance with a Game 6 win ended up losing their series. The lone exception was the Stars advancing with a Game 6 win over Nashville.
The last time the Stars played a Game 7 they lost at home to the Blues 6-1 in the second round in 2016.
The Stars last won a Game 7 on May 27, 2000, against the Colorado Avalanche in the second round at the AAC.
St. Louis scored twice in the third period to open up a three-goal cushion. Jaden Schwartz scored on a deflection after goalie Ben Bishop was injured by the puck on Alexander Steen’s shot. Bishop hit the ice in pain as Schwartz made it 3-1.
Sammy Blais made it 4-1 only 37 seconds later when he scored on a breakaway.
“That changed the game quite a bit,” Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. “But we weren’t pushing, we weren’t skating in the third period. We weren’t doing anything to establish possession time. Give St. Louis credit. They did a real good job checking us.”
Bishop, who took a puck to his left shoulder, is fine, Montgomery said. He had an X-ray as a precaution.
The Blues came out the aggressor and scored on Alex Pietrangelo’s goal 63 seconds into the game. St. Louis had the first eight shots on goal before Dallas made its first.
Tyler Seguin tied it up with 8:25 left in the first on an assist from Mats Zuccarello from inside the crease.
David Perron scored with 4:36 remaining in the second period to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead. The Stars outshot the Blues 9-4 in the period but both defenses remained stingy. Both teams had three penalties in the first period. The Stars killed all three.
In the nine games between the teams (including four regular-season meetings), the team leading after two periods won the game.
St. Louis had the slight edge in shots on goal 25-23, including 11-7 in the final period. The Blues have outscored teams 11-2 in the third period during the playoffs.
“I think we’re wearing teams down through games. I think the way we play is hard to defend,” Pietrangelo said. “I know playing against guys that play the way we play as a team, it’s tough. It wears you down through the game as a defenseman. It’s not fun to play against.”
Montgomery said all that went down in the third period should help motivate the Stars on Tuesday.
“I feel great about a Game 7,” he said. “When I was a little kid every time I played street hockey or I played in my basement with my cousin it was Game 7 every time so I’m excited.”
Blues coach Craig Berube doesn’t see an edge for either team.
“For me, it’s even, we’re going into a Game 7,” Berube said. “We’ve got to forget about this game.”
Stars-Blues second round results, schedule:
Game 1: Blues 3, Stars 2
Game 2: Stars 4, Blues 2
Game 3: Blues 4, Stars 3
Game 4: Stars 4, Blues 2
Game 5: Stars 2, Blues 1
Game 6: Blues 4, Stars 1
Game 7: Stars at Blues, 7 p.m. Tuesday