■ THE TRADE-MART DUNDEE STARS take on Nottingham Panthers tonight in massive must-win game to boost their hopes of making the playoffs, as they currently sit one point outside of the top eight and it is also Retro night at the DIA with a special 1970’s themed jersey and atmosphere.

By Kris Smith

The Stars need a win to relieve the building pressure as they were knocked out of the playoff berths on Tuesday as Fife Flyers beat the Panthers to move into eighth, however they have played two more games than Dundee’s 45.

A win for the Stars would move them back above Fife with still a game in hand to play but also crucially put five points between them and Nottingham, who sit bottom of the league.

Dundee have been unable to win in any of their last four games and last week were beaten 4-1 at home by Coventry Blaze, as Carter Johnson scored the lone goal.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Parades men have played six games between March 2 and March 12, winning just two of them, and last week they lost to 6-2 Cardiff Devils, won 6-5 in overtime away to Glasgow Clan, before going down 3-1 to Fife Flyers at home.

So far in five meetings this season, Dundee have won twice, both at home and in Nottingham but the Nottinghamshire side took the victory in the most recent match as they defeated the Stars 5-1 at the Motorpoint Arena, on Valentines Day.

Jake Elmer would find the net for Dundee, whilst Logan Neilson, Hugo Roy, Alexander Lunsjo, Otto Nieminen and Didrik Henbrant were all on the scoresheet for the English side.

Although, in the last game, neither team’s top scorers lit the lamp as Westin Michaud has six assists against Dundee this season to lead the Panthers offence and Brendan Harms and Ryan Valentini front the Taysiders attack with five points (1G, 4A) each in five games.

Speaking before tonight’s crucial clash, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “Every game is massive.

“These are playoff games, so we need to be ready from the drop of the puck and we need a full effort from everybody to get things turned around and ourselves back in a playoff position.

“We just have to take it one game at a time, that is all that matters and we just have to find a way to get ourselves into that top eight, no matter what position it is.”

Discussing the Panthers and what it will take to win, he continued: “They are a good side, they have a lot of firepower up front and we have to nullify their skill.

“If we play our game and our way then more often than not you should come out on top.

“However, we expect a good challenge, we are both fighting for our playoff positions right now and we know it is going to be a tough match but also a fun one to be a part of.”

Dundee forward, Carter Johnson then shared how the players are approaching the big match, adding: “We all know it is a big one for us and we have put in a lot of preparation this week.

“Only having one game last week, we got to save our energy a bit there, so we all know the spot we are in and we are excited for this one.

“We know their style by now, they are a good team as well, so you cannot take them lightly at all and we have adjusted our systems for that.

“We know what we need to do to get a good result, so we will just be focusing on our game both individually and collectively, to work towards that victory.”

Face-off for tonight’s home game is at 7:30pm and you can get your tickets HERE!

All images: Derek Black.

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