By Kris Smith
Stars took the lead early on but a lack of clinical finishing cost them as Nottingham went ahead with late goals in the first period.
Dundee got off to a strong start as Stars’ Jimmy Jensen found himself in a scoring position but was denied by Nottingham goalie Patrick Galbraith twice in the opening few minutes. The home side were dominating the play as they produced attack after attack on the Panthers goal. After a quick breakout of their own zone, a good move forward by Stars culminated with Cody Carlson’s shot from the high slot being deflected out of play.
Omar Pacha’s men continued to pound the Panthers net with shots and eventually, Emerson Hrynyk was picked out on the blue and he fired a shot that hit off the skates of Lévesque. However, before he could react Jordan Cownie shot the puck into the net at 5:15
Lukas Lundvald was the recipient of the game’s first penalty as Dundee went on the penalty kill after a tripping call in the seventh minute. Nottingham had a good chance when Zack Phillips shot a rebound off the post but good defending by Stars helped them clear the puck.
Adam Harding then skated the puck out of the zone to kill the clock and fired a shot at Galbraith, it rebounded off the Panthers goalie and Carlson fired a second shot which was held by the Dane.
The penalty was killed off and as the home team returned to full strength, Malcolm Gould created a good turnover in the Panthers end and that created an opportunity for Levesque and Lundvald, but they could not beat Galbraith.
Stars were having to defend their possession of the puck but did well to keep it as the Panthers stepped up the intensity. The game was slowly settling down again but a quick play by the visitors sent Robert Lachowicz through one-on-one with Fullerton but the Dundee netminder robbed the English forward with a stunning glove save.
Corey Neilson’s side started to test the Stars defence more and more, a slapshot from the blueline by Mathieu -Gagnon hit the pads of Fullerton before the stick of Raphaël Bussières, which sent it across the line. That tied the game at 1-1 after 15:58.
Nottingham came alive in the final minutes of the opening period but Stars still found ways to create good offensive opportunities as Jensen broke away but was denied. Brian Hart suffered the same fate when he followed up the rebound.
A bad giveaway by Carlson in his own end turned the puck over to Erik Lindhagen and he roofed a backhanded shot into the net at 19:35. Dundee had let their lead slip in the final minutes of the first period but were gifted a chance to correct their mistakes in the second after winning a man advantage early on.
Stephen Lee was sent to the box for tripping but less then 90 seconds later, Dundee lost Chris Lawrence to an interference penalty. Neither team to could utilise the extra space on the ice and Dundee failed to capitalise on a third power play of the night, as they struggled to get back onto the game.
Nottingham’s Mike Vaskivuo was picked out on the far circle by Lee and Vaskivuo put a high shot past Fullerton at 30:25, extending their lead to 3-1.
Dundee were unsuccessful on a fourth man advantage of the night, as the Panthers became more dangerous all over the ice. The road team picked up a powerplay after Lundvald was penalised for slashing but Nottingham’s Phillip’s received a slashing penalty to reduce both teams to four skaters. Lundvald was gifted a chance after he was released from the box but the Panthers’ goalie made the save to keep his team in front.
The third period opened with Fullerton denying Jeff Brown from point blank range. Dundee then went close as Joey De Concilys redirected a shot but it went straight into the glove of Galbraith. Pacha then rattled his shot off the post from inches in front of the Nottingham goal, after a good feed from Marc-Olivier Mimar.
The Canadian then had a chance for himself but Galbraith produced a quick glove save. Dundee just could not finish their chances and were disadvantaged when Hart was penalised for tripping in the fifty-third minute. They killed off the penalty, but Stars lacked the creativity they showed in the first period while Nottingham controlled the third. Dundee built pressure in the final minutes with an extra attacker but still could not find the back of the net.
Eric Lindhagen and Dundee’s Jordan Cownie were awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ awards. Stars now prepare for their last regular season meeting with Braehead Clan tonight, as they look to close in on the final playoff spot.