DALLAS (AP) — Brian Elliott will start in goal for the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

Coach Ken Hitchcock held off naming a starter until after the morning skate, several hours ahead of the pivotal game.

Jake Allen relieved Elliott late in the first period of Game 6 after the Stars scored three goals on seven shots. Before that, Elliott had been in goal the entire postseason for St. Louis, seeking its first trip to the conference finals since 2001.

He entered Game 7 with a 2.39 goals-against average and .926 save percentage.

Hitchcock said it was a “no brainer” after he spoke with Elliott and the goalie showed up at the rink Tuesday ready to see some pucks. Hitchcock said Elliott earned the right to start and showed he’d moved on from his rough outing.

“We had the tough seven minutes and paid for it, but he’s given us a chance to get to the Game 7 again and I couldn’t think of a better opportunity for him or for us,” Hitchcock said. “I wanted to talk to him and make sure he was feeling good about himself.”

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