Dallas Stars

This Stars pep talk will be easy. ‘It’s Game 7 … this is what legends are made of’

Dallas Stars coach Jim Montgomery was asked what the message for his team would be before facing the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo.

Montgomery reeled off several talking points before checking himself.

It’s Game 7. Win or go home. The season is on the line.

“Let’s go and embrace this. This is what legends are made of,” Montgomery said before the team flew to St. Louis from Love Field Monday afternoon. “Go out and play your game, fulfill it, and help us win a hockey game.”

The Stars, who had a chance to advance at home in Game 6 on Sunday, are trying to reach their first Western Conference Final since 2008. They’ll have to win a Game 7 on the road for the first time since 2000.

Goalie Ben Bishop said he’ll approach the elimination game no different.

“You kind of have to approach it the same way. You can’t get too high on it,” said Bishop, who shrugged off the puck he took to his collarbone in the third period on Sunday. “You just have to do what you do every single game, don’t change anything.”

Of course, both teams would love to get off to a fast start. The Stars would love to deflate the Enterprise Center crowd and the Blues would love to ramp up the energy. The team that has scored first won five of the first six games. The lone exception is Game 4 when the Stars fell behind 1-0 before scoring four consecutive goal.

“A good start, a good middle and a good end, they’re all going to be important,” Bishop said. “Both teams are going to be ramped up.”

Montgomery, of course, won’t leave his Game 7 pregame pep talk to just ‘It’s Game 7!’ and walk out of the locker room. He’ll remind his team how they got here, by playing as a cohesive unit.

“It’s the same thing we’ve been talking about since the All-Star break: Play to our identity, have the right attitude and a relentless style of play,” he said.

He thought they were too individualistic at times in Game 6. That message has already been heard.

“I think the road is a perfect spot for us to play. We’re confident in how we’ve been on the road all playoffs,” Forward Andrew Cogliano said. “We’re going to simplify our game and play the game that got us here in the first place.”

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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.