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Stars know they'll need to be much better than they were in Game 6

Slow start, poor finish at home doom them to Game 7 at Blues

by Tracey Myers @Tramyers_NHL / Staff Writer

DALLAS -- Ben Bishop was lying on his side in the crease, grabbing his shoulder after he was hit by a shot from St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko.

Moments later, Jaden Schwartz redirected Alexander Steen's shot past the still-prone Bishop into the Dallas Stars net.

It was a tough sequence for the goalie and the Stars, who lost 4-1 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round on Sunday.


[RELATED: Complete Blues vs. Stars series coverage]


The best-of-7 series is tied with Game 7 at St. Louis on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS).

Bishop remained in after Schwartz's goal gave the Blues a 3-1 lead at 7:37 of the third period, but he was pulled after Sammy Blais scored with a slap shot on a 2-on-0 33 seconds later to make it 4-1.

Video: STL@DAL, Gm6: Bishop pulled after injury in 3rd

Stars coach Jim Montgomery said Bishop is fine. But what wasn't OK with him was how the Stars responded with Bishop down on the ice.

"It's the referee's discretionary call," Montgomery said. "We've got to keep playing, we've got to keep fighting through that. You can't be a ref. They're doing a good job and they're at this level of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a reason, and they thought there was no reason to blow the whistle. Our players have to play through stuff."

Their reaction was consistent with how they played late in the game, Montgomery said.

"We weren't pushing, we weren't skating in the third period," he said. "We weren't doing anything to establish possession time. Give St. Louis credit. They did a really good job checking us."

As frustrating as the end was for the Stars, so was the start. Alex Pietrangelo scored 1:03 into the game to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. St. Louis had an 8-0 advantage in shots on goal before Justin Dowling got the Stars' first 8:25 into the first period.

Tyler Seguin tied it 1-1 at 11:35 of the first, his power-play goal trickling through goalie Jordan Binnington's legs. 

"They are a good team and responded well tonight," Seguin said of the Blues. "We expected them to come hard, and they had a good start. We would have liked to have had a better start, but it doesn't matter what's happened now."

Defenseman John Klingberg said, "I think they were a little bit smarter than us today. We had a lot of possession, but we were a lot of the time on the outside. It is what it is right now."

The Stars obviously would've liked to find a way to eliminate the Blues at home, but no one seemed surprised that the series will require Game 7.

"We knew it was going to be a tight series," forward Mats Zuccarello said. "If you want to go far in the playoffs, you usually have to go through some Game 7s."

The Stars know they will have to play a lot better than they did in Game 6 to advance to the Western Conference Final.

"That's just hockey, create and generate with good opportunities," captain Jamie Benn said. "We knew this was gonna be a long series, they're a good team. They play good team defense and got a great goalie, so we got to find a way to try and put some in the back of the net."


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