By Kris Smith
The Stars head into their third straight set of back-to-back games after splitting a Tayside Derby series with Fife Flyers and falling twice to Sheffield Steelers.
Dundee were 3-2 winners over the Flyers on Boxing Day before going down 4-1 in Fife on Tuesday, which has left them in ninth place in the Elite League standings and just one point behind the Flyers, who occupy the last of eight playoff spots.
Meanwhile, the Clan sit 10th and three points behind the Stars, but they are also without a victory in their last eight matches, as the team has suffered with recent injuries and player departures.
Since they last met, Glasgow have lost the services of Mathieu Roy, Nolan LaPorte and Gergely Toth as they all departed the club, whilst Colton Waltz was ruled out for two to three months through injury and former Dundee defender, Shawn Boutin saw his season curtailed due to injury after making only three appearances in the entire campaign.
The four previous meetings between these two sides this season have seen the Tayside team claim three wins, with two coming on home ice.
After a 4-3 win and 3-1 victory for the Stars in the Challenge Cup, the Clan then answered back with a 6-1 home win last month, before Dundee bounced back for a 6-3 result in Tayside.
Leading the Stars attack against Glasgow has been Elijiah Barriga with four goals and three assists, whilst John Dunbar has found the back of the Dundee net, three times.
The Stars could also have a full selection of players available for the first time in 11 games, as forward, Hugo Reinhardt has returned to on-ice practice.
Speaking ahead of his side’s final game of 2022, Stars Head Coach, Jeff Mason said: “For us, it is just about focusing on how we need to play to be successful and I know I say that every week but we want to play fast, play pucks in behind and go to work in the offensive zone.
“This is a battle of two teams for points to keep themselves off the bottom of the table, so I expect a high intensity match with so much on the line and we just need to play to our structure and our systems, and hopefully that will provide success for us.”
“The last time we went in that building, I did not like our game and we came out on the wrong end of a lop-sided score, but we have been successful in there before but that is when we go in and play the right way.”
Following a few defensive mistakes that proved costly in mid-week, Mason Continued: “With a lot of analysis, I believe we have been quite good defensively, we just need better individual play within that structure because that what tends to be sometimes minor or sometimes major mistakes, that end up in the back of our net.
“Structurally we have been quite good as a unit but individually we need to be better within that structure and that comes down to making plays at key times.”
“Anytime you are playing short-bodied, you have to change the way you play and some guys end up in situations they maybe should not be in or some guys maybe get overtaxed.
“The times when we have had a full line-up or close to it, we have played pretty well and had success, so hopefully that is the case going forward and if we can find a way to stay healthy, keep everyone in the line-up then it gives us a good chance to win.”
Dundee’s leading goal-scorer, Elijiah Barriga, then added: “It is going to be a huge game for us to close out the first half of the season and we are excited to get into it.
“They are our rivals too and it is a big game for both teams, so I am sure both sets of players will be up for it and hungry to get those points.
“We have to be getting pucks in behind in them and turning their defence, which is what has made us successful in the past, so if we can do that again then we can get a result.”
Face-off is at 2pm in Glasgow this afternoon.
All images: Al Goold.