By Kris Smith
The Stars are determined to bounce-back with a win on home ice this evening as they were left reeling last Saturday when Belfast Giants shut them out in a 7-0 defeat.
Despite the big loss, Dundee had just beaten the Giants 4-3 in overtime, just 24 hours prior and they now have the chance to take two more points away from another team who is battling for the league title.
The Stars who currently sit ninth on 25 points, trail the third-place Devils by 26 points and Cardiff are only four adrift from the league-leading Sheffield Steelers.
Jarrod Skalde’s Devils saw their three-game winning streak halted last weekend as they lost 4-1 on the road to Nottingham Panthers on Sunday, with Trevor Cox scoring the lone goal.
Through four games this season, Dundee and Cardiff have won two each and the first tie went in favour of the Welsh club, by six goals to four.
The Tayside team then responded by taking a 4-2 win in the Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals 1st leg and a 2-1 win in South Wales just a few days later.
However, the Devils responded with a 6-1 victory in the second leg of the cup tie to secure their place in the final four.
Leading Cardiff’s scoring charts against Dundee are Cox, Cole Sanford, Stephen Dixon and Brodie Dupont with two goals each, meanwhile Sebastian Bengtsson has fired three in for the Stars and Philippe Sanche has netted twice.
Bengtsson was also on the scoresheet with a brace in last Friday’s win over Belfast, along with Connor Sills and Toms Rutkis.
The Stars are hoping to be a full strength tonight as forward, Charlie Combs is hopeful of returning to the line-up against and defenseman, Markus Kankaanperä will be back in action.
Stars Head Coach, Omar Pacha is looking for a response from his group of players tonight, as they continue to their push to make the playoffs.
He said: “We need a response from the group tonight, we did not like the last 30 minutes of our game on Saturday.
“It is another opportunity for us at home to play hard in front of our fans and to also get points.
“Right now, every single game is going to be a battle up until the end of the season and Cardiff are coming off a loss, so we have to make sure we are ready right from the first face-off.
After that last game, everyone knows it was not good enough, so we move on and focus on tonight which is a huge game at home.”
The Stars boss is also expecting his side to remain disciplined and not allow a “talented” Cardiff team any easy opportunities.
Pacha added; “We have played well against Cardiff in some games.
“We just have to make sure we are disciplined defensively and that we are also aware of being strong in the areas where they can provide offence, so that could be their powerplay or off the rush.
“They have two highly talented lines but for us, it is just about making sure we are playing hard, following the process and not getting too high with the highs and low with the lows.”
Face-off for tonight’s home match is at 7:30pm.