By Kris Smith
Stars can continue to put pressure on Braehead and Coventry tonight by taking points in Nottingham.
Dundee were originally meant to face Panthers on Friday night but due to the adverse weather conditions that have hit the UK over the past week it was postponed.
Both teams were quick to secure a date for the replay as Stars have a busy schedule in the final stretch of the regular season. This is Dundee’s third encounter with the Panthers in a month and they have yet to win a game against Corey Neilson’s side.
Dundee’s last trip to Nottinghamshire ended in a 3-0 defeat despite Stars head coach, Omar Pacha saying his side played well and were unlucky as the result could have went either way. Eleven days ago, Panthers made it two wins out of two after beating Dundee 3-1 at the DIA.
Jordan Cownie scored the only Dundee goal of the night after tucked home a rebound to put the home side ahead. Raphael Bussieres equalised for Nottingham before Eric Lindhagen punished the Stars for a defensive zone error. Mike Vaskivuo put the Panthers ahead 3-1 and thanks to a solid performance by Patrick Galbraith in the Nottingham goal that was the way it ended.
It has been two tough games against Corey Neilson’s side, but a lack of clinical finishing has made it difficult for Stars to keep up on the scoreboard. Nottingham punished each of Dundee’s mistakes and that ultimately cost them the two points.
Neilson’s side have had no trouble finding the net after scoring 28 goals in their last 5 games, which included a 7-2 thumping of Cardiff and a 10-1 thrashing of Edinburgh.
Nottingham will be without defenceman Yann Sauve as he serves the final part of his two-game suspension, also Jordan Kelsall remains out through injury.
Stars showed they could be better at finishing their chances after putting 9 goals past Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday, but they still need to tighten up at the back after conceding 4 to the last placed Caps.
Braehead Clan won their only game of the weekend as they defeated Sheffield Steelers 5-2 at the Braehead Arena to hold their three-point lead over Dundee. Although despite Coventry Blaze beating Edinburgh 7-2 they lost 4-1 in Guildford and that kept them just three points ahead of Dundee also.
Omar Pacha has insisted that his team are taking things slow with a game by game approach, he said: “We just have to go one game at a time, we have played two good games against Nottingham in the last few weeks.
“They have been tight games, but we need to focus more on the scoring aspect, we have been struggling as we have only scored one goal in the last two games against them.
“We are working on our offensive touch around the net and finding ways to score goals.
“However, Nottingham are a team that is good everywhere, they have skill up front and big strong, tough defencemen.
“The last two games against them they have had good goaltending and those games were tight, but they could have gone either way.
“If we limit our mistakes and capitalise on theirs and try to get through their goalie, we will have a successful night”.
Face-off is at 7:30pm in Nottingham tonight.