By Kris Smith
The Stars play away from home all weekend but must find a way to win to keep their hopes of finishing in the top five alive.
The Elite League regular season is now its final stages and due to the COVID-19 disruptions throughout the season, Dundee will be playing three games a week until the end.
This weekend, the Stars start of in Cardiff against the Devils, before returning to Scotland to take on Glasgow Clan and they finish the week off with against their biggest rivals, Fife Flyers.
First up is the Tayside team’s second last match against Cardiff this season and on their only other previous league visit to Ice Arena Wales in this campaign, Omar Pacha’s men secured a 2-1 victory.
A brace from Sebastian Bengtsson won the Stars two crucial points, while Trevor Cox bagged the Devils only goal.
However, the only time Dundee have lost to Jarrod Skalde’s side since that night was in the second leg of the Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals, but the Stars have won four out of the last five meetings, in all competitions.
Heading into the weekend, the Welsh club currently sit third and 12 points off the top of the table, meanwhile the Stars have played the least amount of games and are occupying seventh position, on 43 points.
Another win in the Welsh capital could see them reclaim fifth spot but they may quickly lose it again on Saturday night, when they visit Glasgow.
In what will be their final league match against each other, both teams will be desperate to get the win, as for each club, it will mean putting some more distance between them and their playoff rivals.
In the last fixture, Dundee emerged 6-3 winners, but that performance came as more of a response to letting points slip from their grasp, less than 24 hours before, as a last minute winner handed Glasgow a 4-3 victory.
Things also got heated between the two Scottish rivals in the last game and that could be carried over into Saturday’s final tie, with only one point separating them before this weekend’s matches.
Then the Stars round off another triple header weekend with a visit to Kirkcaldy as they face the basement club and their main rivals, Fife in an all important battle for league points.
It is yet another match where both teams will do anything to get some points on the board, as the Flyers fight to keep their dying playoff hopes alive and Dundee go in search of valuable points to keep them from slipping back down the table.
So far this season, each side has won three games each, but two of those have come on the road and the Stars were 4-1 winners on their last trip to the Fife Ice Arena.
In terms of injury news, the Stars are set to be without goaltender, Adam Morrison again and forwards, Craig Garrigan and Toms Rutkis, but captain, Drydn Dow and defender, Kyle Haas make their return to the line-up.
Looking ahead to another difficult triple-game weekend, Stars Head Coach, Pacha said: “It is going to be another tough challenge this weekend but our main goal is to get back to how we were playing last Friday.
“It is a long journey to Cardiff, but I am sure the guys will be ready and we have worked on a few things this week that will help us get back to playing well defensively.
“We have beat them a few times this year and had success in that building but it is a hard place to go and that is why we have to make sure we are ready and that we stay mentally sharp for 60 minutes.”
The Stars top goalscorer, Sebastian Bengtsson, who reached 25 goals for the season last weekend, then added: “It feels good and it is always nice to be scoring.
“However, the most important thing is to get the two points every game and we are continuing to pushing hard at the end of the season, so we can make the playoffs.”
Despite the success Dundee have had against the Devils this season, the Swedish winger is not expecting anything to be made easy tonight.
He added: “It is always nice to go down there and get a win and hopefully we can do that again tonight, but it is always a tough game against Cardiff, because they are a top team.
“We have to stick to our plan and our system and wait for them to make mistakes and when they do we have to be ready to punish them.”
Face-off times for this weekend’s matches are at 7:30pm in Cardiff on Friday, 7pm in Glasgow on Saturday and 6pm in Fife on Sunday.