Sheffield Steelers skipper wants to close the gap on his old club Cardiff Devils

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Sheffield Steelers’ captain Jonathan Phillips hopes to reduce pace-setting rivals Cardiff Devils’ lead at the top of the Elite League to three points on Friday evening.

A win in regulation time would see the reigning champions even closer on Devils’ coat-tails...with four games in hands.

“We can’t let that gap get too big” said the former Cardiff winger.

“You need points in the bag. They are the team that have done that so far.”

Phillips acknowledges it won’t be easy as Cardiff have won twice at Sheffield Arena so far.

“They took their chances and we kind of let up at times” he recalled.

“We are very similar (teams,) we are both skilled, we are both very deep, it is always a very good match-up. You have got to watch their defensive guys from the back.”

Steelers’ firepower will doubtless be helped by on-form John Armstrong.

The centreman’s five point haul last weekend - he had a hat trick of assists against Nottingham Panthers -has seen him overtake Mathieu Roy as the club’s leading point scorer in League play.

Armstrong has 13 points, one more than Roy and Colton Fretter.

Steelers have no game on Saturday night but are back in action in Sheffield on Sunday against Belfast Giants.

n Meanwhile, former Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers coach Alex Dampier is rallying after undergoing a bone marrow transfer in America.

The Star revealed on Monday that ‘Damps’ had suffered leukaemia and was undergoing a series of treatments.

Bone marrow from his sister has been used, in the procedure in Cleveland.

“I didn’t feel well on the first day, but I’m feeling better now” the Canadian said.

“After the article went in The Star I had messages of support from all over the world, it was amazing.”