Elite League: Nottingham Panthers 4-2 Belfast Giants
Belfast Giants' Elite League hopes suffered a blow as they were beaten 4-2 away by Nottingham Panthers in Saturday evening's contest.
Goals from Brendan Connolly and Brandon Benedict got Belfast on terms in the first period after Luke Pither and David Clarke had netted for Nottingham.
But after a goalless second period, Pither restored Nottingham's lead before Evan Mosey's late empty netter.
Second-placed Belfast are now five points behind leaders Cardiff.
The Devils, who defeated Coventry 2-1 on Saturday evening, also have a game in hand on Belfast.
Belfast are back in action on Sunday evening when they face Sheffield away while Cardiff again take on Coventry.
In Saturday's game in Nottingham, the hosts were 2-0 up within 11 minutes as Pither fired past Jackson Whistle on 5:39 before Clarke's one-timer doubled their lead while they were on a powerplay.
But within 50 seconds Connolly's breakaway goal halved the deficit and Benedict's fine finish, his fourth goal in as many games, levelled the contest on 12:42.
After netminders Whistle and Patrick Galbraith made a series of superb saves in the second period, Pither edged the Panthers ahead with a powerplay goal on 49:36 and Mosey's goal with 42 seconds left sealed the home victory.