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Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010

Nottingham Panthers v Coventry Blaze

Panthers and the Blaze in action
Nottingham have won six of the two sides nine meetings this season

Nottingham Panthers and Coventry Blaze meet at the National Ice Centre on Saturday night in the Elite League.

With five games to go, Coventry are top on 70 points with Panthers four points behind, while Belfast have 69 points but have played two games more.

Panthers captain Danny Meyers said: "We are outsiders for the league but we have a chance, we carry on believing."

Blaze coach Paul Thompson added: "If we don't beat the Panthers on Saturday then it's far from over."

Panthers have won all four previous meetings at the NIC, three in the league and the other in the Challenge Cup group stages.

"We haven't got it right in there (Nottingham) this year," added Thompson.

"We haven't played well in there for two or three years, I have said that time and time again, but that's been and gone.

"Offensively they are gifted, you give them half chances and they have the players who can pick up on that.

"They move the puck very well in the offensive zone and Corey Neilson is as good as there is as an offensive defenceman in the league.

"We don't fear them but we respect them, it's absolutely massive on Saturday. They have come off a deserved cup win but we want the biggest prize of all."

Panthers won the Challenge Cup on Tuesday completing a two-legged victory over Cardiff Devils.

Danny Meyers said: "They seem to get bigger and bigger these games, what an exciting time it is.

"The Blaze have great players, Danny Stewart, Calder and Carlson, they have won a lot of trophies and played these pressure situations before.

"Although they have been stuttering lately they are a great team and they know how to win. What a game it's going to be on Saturday."



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