Panthers v Stars
3 - 4
The Nottingham Panthers returned to league action on Friday night against the Dundee Stars, both sides were looking to bounce back after overtime defeats last weekend snapped their respective six game winning streaks.
Michael Garnett got the start in goal for the Panthers opposite Pontus Sjogren for the Stars.
Nottingham got off an to the best possible start when Alex Guptill broke in behind the Dundee defence and, after circling round the back of the Stars goal, found Justin Kovacs all alone at the back door (2.00) for the simplest of tap-ins, giving the Panthers an early first period lead.
It didn't take Dundee long to get themselves back in the game as Fabrizio Ricci's shot from the left went in off the post (6.08) to make it 1-1.
With Tim Billingsley in the box for cross-checking the Panthers' penalty killers did a sterling job of keeping Dundee to the outside and away from Michael Garnett's cage before returning to full strength.
Shortly after Mark Hurtubise fired just over the bar, after skating through the neutral zone, the Stars found themselves on their second powerplay of the night (15.23) when Robert Farmer was called for interference. Once again the Panthers' penalty killers stood strong and the period ended with the teams tied at one.
Just 1.26 into the second period the visitors took the lead. Assistant Coach Matt Marquardt's one-timer from the top of the face-off circles eluding a screened Michael Garnett. The Panthers' netminder had to be alert moments later to stop the Stars taking a two goal lead as shut the door on Lundvald in front.
After killing a penalty to Robert Farmer (27.36) the Panthers went on a powerplay of their own but it was Dundee who came the closest to disturbing the scorers. They crashed the net on a short-handed breakaway and the puck found it's way into the Panthers' goal, however, a ruling of no goal on the ice was confirmed after a video review and the Stars killed the remainder of the penalty.
The Panthers got the moment of magic they needed to tie the game when Alex Guptill collected the puck and roofed it high over the glove of Sjogren (35.25) to tie the game at two. Marek Tvrdon almost put the Panthers into the lead but his effort came back out of the post and Dundee moved the puck quickly down the ice to take the lead themselves (37.44) after 40 minutes of play.
Tvrdon was sent to the box early in the third (41.32) but once again the Panthers' penalty killers stood strong to keep the Stars at bay and shortly after returning to full strength the Panthers almost tied the game. Tvrdon and Richard linking up well to feed Pither but his shot was blocked by a Stars defenceman before it could get through to Sjogren.
Nottingham couldn't take advantage of a five-on-three powerplay opportunity (48.36) as they looked to get back into the game.
With the clock winding down Alex Guptill marauded into the Stars zone and somehow got a shot away surrounded by Dundee defencemen. Sjogren made the initial stop but Justin Kovacs was on hand to lift the puck up and over the pad of the Stars netminder in close (56.24) to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Gui Lepine was sent to the penalty box just as overtime past the halfway mark and Dundee took advantage. Marquardt scoring his second of the game to condemn The Nottingham Panthers to their third overtime defeat in as many league games.