By Kris Smith
The Stars are still eight points adrift from the final playoff spot and with only nine games left in the regular season, time is running out.
Last night, the Stars had a closely fought battle with Guildford Flames but ended up on the wrong side of a 5-2 scoreline.
The visitors had taken the lead in the first period as Logan Fredericks fired high past Brython Preece in the 13th minute, but former Flame, Johan Eriksson drew the Stars level with a top-shelf finish of his own, just one minute into the second session.
The Stars then capitalised on delayed penalty as Guildford’s Sam Marklund was about to be boxed for roughing Philippe Sanche behind the play but at the other end, Dundee captain, Drydn Dow picked out the top corner of Taz Burman’s goal to put them 2-1 ahead.
Although, just a few minutes later, Peter Crinella equalised for the Flames as his first-time shot found the bottom corner of the Stars goal, on 36 minutes.
Then, just over a minute later, Daniel Tedesco got a second chance to turn home his own rebound after Preece made the initial save and the Canadian did not miss his second opportunity.
In the third period, it all came down to the final three minutes when Dundee were pushing for a third goal but in the 58th minute, Crinella made it 4-2, before completing his hat-trick with an empty net goal one minute later.
The Stars now face the Panthers who were beaten 3-2 in Kirkcaldy last night by Fife Flyers as they fell behind to a Chris Lawrence goal after just two minutes.
Ex-Stars forward, Fabrizio Ricci then tied the game on the 10-minute-mark, but Janne Kivilahti would get the Flyers back in front, 46 seconds into the second period.
However, Matthew Myers then made it 2-2, just 17 seconds later, but Corey Neilson’s side were unable to recover from Kivilahti’s second, which came on the powerplay in the 39th minute.
Tonight will be the Panthers’ final league visit to the Dundee Ice Arena and they will be aiming to avoid a second road loss to the Stars this season.
Back in October, Dundee claimed a 4-2 win over Nottingham but were then beaten 5-4 in overtime when they returned to Tayside under the guide of new-boss, Neilson.
The two teams also met just two weeks ago down south and the Stars were close to coming away with both points, as they led 2-1 heading into the final period.
However, the Panthers hit back with three goals in the third period to take a 4-2 win and their third victory against the Stars in this campaign.
Dundee will be missing Swedish winger, Romans Semjonovs again tonight and also Jonathan McBean as he is playing with Solway Sharks as part of his two-way contract, but Ben Brown returns to the line-up.
Speaking after last night’s match, Stars Head Coach, Mason said: “There is details in our game that we need to clean up.
“At times I thought we made some good pushes tonight and we had a umber of chances and I am not sure how we did not find the back of the net, but at the end of the day it is no points and we come back tomorrow and it has to be our best game.
“It is a massive game, I have just told the players there that it has to be our best game of the year, we have to take points and we need guys to turn up, play hard and come out with the victory.”
Dundee forward, Craig Garrigan then added: “It was a tough game tonight, we had glimpses of good shifts out there but we need to clean up the mistakes we make every night.
“If we can cut out the mistakes, play a full 60 minutes then we are more than capable of picking up two points, so we have to forget about tonight and make sure we are up for tomorrow.
“I feel like when we played Nottingham, we played well against them, even on the road.
“So, the guys can be confident going into this game and the situation we are in right now, it is a must win game, so we have to be up for it.”
Face-off for tonight’s game against Nottingham is at 5pm.