Belfast Giants wasted a chance to extend their League lead to seven points as they lost 8-3 in Nottingham.
Goals from Leigh Salters and David Clarke gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead by the end of the first period.
Craig Peacock replied for Belfast but further efforts from Matt Francis and Salters left Nottingham 4-1 up.
Strikes from Peacock and Calvin Elfring cut Nottingham's lead to 5-3 but goals from Jonathan Boxill, Petr Kalus and Chris Capraro sealed the home win.
Robert Lachowicz was also among Nottingham's goal-scorers.
With no other games played on Tuesday night, Belfast remain five points clear of Braehead although the Clan have three games in hand.
Dundee are a further point back in third and they also have played one game less than the Giants.
Nottingham's win moves them level on points with fourth-placed Sheffield and the Panthers have three matches in hand on Belfast with the Steelers also having played a game less than the leaders.
Belfast are back in action in Saturday's home game against Edinburgh.