By Kris Smith
The Stars head south to the Motorpoint Arena tonight for the first time since the Playoff Finals Weekend last season, but now under the leadership of Jeff Mason, they look to kick-start their league campaign with a win in their opening away game.
Dundee won half of their six Challenge Cup Group Stage games and lost their opening league fixture at home.
A 7-1 loss to Sheffield Steelers was not a fitting result after the Tayside Team were locked in a tightly fought battle after two periods, trailing only 2-1, with Romans Semjonovs netting the Stars only goal.
Then last weekend they ran Belfast Giants close two night in a row, as they closed out their Challenge Cup Group matches with a 5-4 overtime loss in Northern Ireland, before losing 4-1 late on, at home on Sunday.
The Stars spent nearly the whole of both games either ahead or tied with Belfast, before going on to suffer defeats in overtime and then just nine minutes from time.
Meanwhile the Panthers picked up their first win in four games, as they secured an 3-2 overtime cup victory against Sheffield Steelers, to end a three-game losing run, after starting their league campaign with a 4-3 overtime win against Guildford Flames.
The Stars will also still be without their three injured players, as Kris Inglis, Craig Garrigan and Ben Sokay still remain side-lined for the trip to Nottingham.
Speaking before tonight’s road game in Nottingham, Stars Head Coach, Jeff Mason, said: “Obviously this trip will be new for some of the guys and it will be our first time seeing their team, that have been struggling early.
“However, they had a big win over their rivals at the weekend, so I am sure that will give them a boost.
“I expect a tough game, I expect to face a quality side and it is a difficult building to go in and play, so we will do our best to prepare the guys to go in there and take the two points.”
With the focus on getting their first league win under their belts, Mason continued: “Starting fast in the league is imperative and we need to pick up points early and when you can bank points early, it helps you coming down the stretch.
“We are back to focusing on the league play now and we just want to make sure we maximise our opportunities this weekend in Nottingham on Friday and at home against Manchester Storm, on Saturday.”
Stars goaltender, Anton Svensson then shared the players perspective before heading down to Nottingham tonight, he said: “We have an away game ahead of us and it is always tough on the road, so we need to bring our confidence to the game and protect our house a little bit better.”
After losing two games late on last week, the Swedish shot-stopper insisted that the Stars must be more clinical with their chances and added: “We need to win more second and third battles and spend more time in the offense.
“Playing in away buildings is always difficult, but it means that you gathered the group early and are spending more time together before the games, with the long travel hours.
“So, during that time we build confidence in each other and bring that into the game and try to get the right result.”
Face-off is at 7:30pm.