The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars play on the road tonight as they visit Nottingham Panthers for the final time in their league campaign and aim to pull clear of the bottom four teams in their play-off push.

By Kris Smith

The Stars have continually won points every weekend but with other results around the league being so unpredictable and split across all teams, the bottom half of the league table has tightened up.

Dundee sit in sixth with 37 points from 36 games but remain only five clear of Glasgow Clan, who are just outside the playoff berths in ninth, and five points below them are the Panthers at the bottom.

Therefore, Marc LeFebvre has stressed the importance of beating the teams below them to put some distance between the Stars and the bottom four teams and that starts tonight in Nottingham.

So far this season, Dundee have won and lost in regulation against the Panthers but also lost in overtime and won in a shootout, meaning each side has taken five points from a possible eight.

The Taysiders have won the last two meetings with the most recent being a 5-1 victory in Dundee on January 21 and they also took a 4-3 shootout win on their last visit to the Motorpoint Arena, back in early December.

However, Jonathan Paredes men have hit better form recently, taking five points from the last eight and winning their last game with a 3-2 result at home over Glasgow, with Myles McGurty, Anthony Luciani and Alexander Lunsjo on the scoresheet.



Whereas the Stars have struggled and lost their last four matches but did claim two points from overtime and shootout defeats to Guildford Flames.

Last weekend, the Stars were beaten 4-3 after penalties by the Flames on Saturday as Ryan Valentini hit a brace and Tommy Parrottino netted his third goal in three games at the Spectrum Arena, before Dundee failed to convert any of their five penalty shots.

Then on Sunday, Dundee hosted Belfast Giants and whist Anthony Rinaldi and Brendan Harms both scored on the powerplay, the Stars came up just short and lost out 3-2, with Lucas Brine making his second start of the season.

The Stars are expected to have starting goaltender, Kevin Carr back in the line-up for tonight’s trip to Nottingham, as well as defenseman, Elijah Vilio who missed the weekend’s matches through illness.



Speaking before tonight’s game, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “We just have to take it one game at a time.

“We know every game is going to be a playoff game, we have 18 games left and we know it is going to be a battle from here on out.

“We have had a good run of results in the last couple of weeks, so we have to go down there and try to get the two points and we have done it before earlier in the season, so there is no reason why we cannot do it again tomorrow night.”

With the Panthers recently finding ways to win, LeFebvre expects a much tougher challenge than they have had in recent games against the Nottinghamshire outfit.

He added: “We are well aware of what they have been doing in the last few games and they are not out of this race yet at all.

“So, we have to widen that gap and keep those teams behind us as much as possible, but obviously move up the table ourselves as well, so it is all to play for tonight.”



The Canadian also shared the keys to getting a win on the road, stating: “We have to play a simple, hard, playoff-type road game.

“That is all it comes down to and we cannot be fancy and try all these trick plays kind of stuff.

“We just have to keep it simple, play to our structure and our strengths and we should get a good result.

“I thought on Sunday we did a lot of good things and did enough to win that game but unfortunately we came up just short, so if we play like we did on Sunday then we should win this game nine times out of 10.”

Face-off for tonight’s game in Nottingham is at 7:30pm.


All images: Panthers Images.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
54 Games
22 Wins
25 Losses
7 OT Losses
51 Points