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Giants can negotiate unbeaten path to glory: Raine



Belfast Giants defenceman Kevin Raine

Belfast Giants defenceman Kevin Raine

William Cherry/Presseye

Belfast Giants defenceman Kevin Raine

Defenceman Kevin Raine is confident that the Belfast Giants can go unbeaten for the rest of the Elite League campaign as they chase down the Cardiff Devils at the top of the table.

The Giants trail the Devils by two points with eight games remaining - with the leaders having a game in hand as well - after seeing their four-match win streak snapped by the Sheffield Steelers last Saturday.

On paper, Belfast have the easier run-in, with six home games and just two away fixtures left to play, and seven of those meetings are against teams in the bottom six of the standings.

Meanwhile, the Devils have four games against teams in the top six of the league still to face, with an even split of home and away dates.

And blue-liner Raine is sure that the Giants - who also have a Challenge Cup final against the Guildford Flames in Cardiff to look forward to on Sunday - can win every game left in the league to put the pressure on the Devils at the top.

"I believe we can do it," insists the optimistic Ontario native.

"We need to make sure we continue to bring it every night regardless of how many games we've played in a week or at a weekend, we expect to win home or away.

"We didn't get the win on Saturday, but the situation we're in, we can't afford to lose and that makes the spotlight on the loss that much greater.

"No need for us to hit the panic button, we just need to gain some momentum."

With the Giants needing the Devils to slip up at least twice down the stretch in order to overtake them, it means there's no room for error on their own part either.

"For any team to go 10 wins and no losses is phenomenal, and there are times when teams are unable to do that throughout the course of the year, and we have to do it now," adds Raine.

"But that's been the pressure all along, we knew it was going to be tight but we wanted to put ourselves in this race.

"We're not out of it."

Belfast Telegraph