The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars are on the road tonight as they visit Nottingham Panthers to continue their late charge for a playoff spot, as they aim to close the gap between them and the final berth.

By Kris Smith

The Stars have just five games left this season and they need to close an eight-point gap to Glasgow Clan if they are to qualify for the playoffs.

With just 10 points left to play for Dundee cannot afford to drop anymore and they require the Clan to lose their final two matches.

This will be the Tayside Teams last league visit to Nottingham and despite not winning any points from the Motorpoint Arena this season, they have played well against the Panthers.

Corey Neilson’s men are also still searching for wins as they try to jostle for positioning in the league table to secure a better playoff spot.

The Panthers won the first contest in Nottingham 6-2, with Fabrizio Ricci and Elijiah Barriga on the scoresheet for Dundee and Barriga would find the back of the net again, alongside Philippe Sanche when they returned last month, losing 4-2.

The Stars come into the mid-week clash off the back of mixed results at the weekend as they defeated Coventry Blaze 5-3 in England, on Saturday night, with Sanche’s hat-trick the highlight of the evening but the Blaze would then strike back to take 6-3 win in Dundee on Sunday.

Meanwhile the Panthers suffered back-to-back losses, going down 5-1 in Manchester against the Storm and 4-1 away to Sheffield Steelers, which has extended their losing-run to three games, but their last victory would be a 2-1 win over the Stars in Scotland.

The Stars could also have full line-up available for tonight’s match as they have no new injury concerns and Swedish winger, Romans Semjonovs who has been out since the start of February, is nearing a return.

 

 

Looking ahead to their final regular season visit to Nottingham, Stars Head Coach, Jeff Mason said: “We have spoke a lot about the fact that we are doing a lot of things well and feel that we have probably deserved more points than we have come away with.

“The focus is on continuing to build on those things and continuing to play hard, right until the end and see where things end up.

“We had a really good performance on Saturday night, it was one of our best this season and we had everybody pitching in but obviously fatigue was a big factor on Sunday.

“So, hopefully we will be a bit better rested up and can go into Nottingham, which is a building that we have played some pretty good hockey in this year and try to establish a lead, play from the front and take the game to them.”

Discussing the keys to success against the Panthers, he continued: “I think it is a good matchup for us and we know what we need to do to be successful, so if we can come out and establish our game early, then we should have success.

“A good start is key as always and we will try to build from there and hopefully have contributions from everyone up and down the line-up, across a solid 60-minute performance.”

 

 

Dundee goalie, Brython Preece has been handed the start in goals tonight and he shared his thoughts on what they will need to do to get a result.

He added: “We have been playing well the last few weeks and there has been a lot of positives to take, unfortunately the results have not gone our way.

“We will continue trying to play well defensively, then the opportunities to score will come.

“It all starts in our defensive zone, because when we can limit teams opportunities and their time in our end, then our offensive chances will follow.

“By doing this we can stay in control of the game.”

Face-off is at 7:30pm tonight in Nottingham.

 

All images: Panthers Images.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
44 Games
18 Wins
20 Losses
6 OT Losses
42 Points