The Stena Line Belfast Giants lost out on Sunday on the road, 4-0, against the Nottingham Panthers.
Despite the defeat, the Giants remain in third place, two points behind the Cardiff Devils, on 52 points though the Welsh side have played two games less. The Sheffield Steelers remain in first place with 57 points from 44 games.
Shane Owen started in the Belfast net and posted 17 saves with the Giants missing Curtis Hamilton.
Early Panthers Double
The home side got off to the best possible start in Nottingham.
First, Adam Deutsch put the Panthers ahead after only 62 seconds when Georgs Golovkovs left the Nottingham defendenan with a simple finish at the back post.
Jullian Talbot made sure the hosts took full advantage of a powerplay with a perfect placed slapshot at 12:13, assisted by Mark Matheson.
Panthers Extend Advantage
Nottingham extended their lead once again early in the middle period thanks to Mathieu Tousignant’s clever short handed finish at 24:20, assisted by Ollie Betteridge.
Then, at 34:52, Matt Pelech dropped the gloves with Nottingham’s Guillaume Gagnon as the Giants Captain tried to create a spark for his side to get back into the game.
The Panthers added another powerplay strike at 35:51 as Dylan Malmquist hammered home, assisted by Brett Perlini and Georgs Golokovs.
Nottingham See Out Win
Stephen Murphy replaced Shane Owen in net for the final period and kept the Panthers at bay for the 20 minutes though the Giants were unable to find a way past a resolute Nottingham defence.
Nottingham Panthers 4-0 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Player of the Game
#17 Matt Pelech
Next up for the Giants is a road game against the Guildford Flames on Wednesday.
The Giants then return home for the Guildford Flames double header on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th February. Tickets are available online now at ticketmaster.ie.