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Saturday: 6 teams seeking first leg advantage

Photo: William Cherry

It's the most wonderful time of the year: the playoffs!

The remaining three Quarter-Finals get under way on Saturday night and, as was the case on Friday, all of the top seeds have opted to play the first leg at home. No one can qualify for the Playoff Finals Weekend tonight, but they can certainly put themselves in good or uphill positions heading into Sunday.

Belfast Giants welcome Coventry to the SSE Arena fully mindful of what happened last time the teams met in a Quarter-Final. Back in Challenge Cup action in December, the Blaze came back from four down to eliminate the Giants from that competition. The Blaze were also mighty close to knocking the Giants out at this stage in 2022 with only a sudden-death shootout between the teams. The three games between the teams in Belfast this season were all won by the Giants, who scored five each time. It is the first time since 2017 that the Giants enter a playoff series having not already won a trophy earlier in the season.

Click here to watch Giants vs. Blaze.

Cardiff Devils have made the last five playoff finals, the best active record of any Elite League team, and face Dundee Stars for a chance to do so again this year. The Devils ended the season as runners-up in the league, but were eliminated at this stage in the cup by Scottish opposition as well - falling to Glasgow Clan. Dundee have only made the finals weekend twice in their history, but Cardiff has not been a good venue for them - in their last nine visits, the Stars have only tied once through 60 minutes, the other eight games all saw them defeated. The Devils won all three meetings between the teams in Wales this season.

Click here to watch Devils vs. Stars.

Manchester Storm and Guildford Flames go head to head for a place in the Playoff Finals Weekend in which many commentators have labelled as the hardest series to call. Storm won all three meetings between the teams in Altrincham this season, although two of them were in shootouts. Storm's fourth-placed finished in the regular season was their highest in years, while Guildford will have been glad to reach fifth and make the cup final after their poor start to the season.

Click here to watch Storm vs. Flames.

No overtime!
Remember, tonight's games are part of aggregate-scoring series. If the scores are tied at 60 minutes, that's where it ends.

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