Elite League: Belfast Giants 2-3 Cardiff Devils (after overtime)

By Nigel RinglandBBC Sport NI
Blair Riley
Blair Riley is congratulated after scoring for the Giants in their 3-2 overtime defeat by Cardiff Devils on Saturday night

Joey Martin's goal with 2:45 left in overtime gave the Cardiff Devils a 3-2 win over the Belfast Giants at the SSE Arena and moved the Welsh side closer to retaining their Elite League title.

After splitting the double-header over the weekend following Friday night's win for the Giants on penalties, the Devils remain seven points clear with a game in hand.

The Giants will re-focus for Wednesday night's second leg of the Challenge Cup semi-final where they take a 5-1 lead into the game over Nottingham Panthers.

The first period ended scoreless but was dominated by the Giants who came out playing more physically than their opponents and they created the better chances with Colin Shields and Blair Riley both ringing the post.

It was Cardiff however that eventually broke the deadlock at 26:00 when the Giants gave Layne Ulmer too much time in front of their net and he was able to step around goalie Jackson Whistle and slot the puck home.

The league's best powerplay then punished the Giants again for a too many men on the ice penalty when Ulmer notched his second at 33:17.

With Giants forward Sebastien Sylvestre picking up yet another unsportsmanlike penalty the home side where under the cosh but shorthanded and on a delayed penalty call on the Devils' Darcy Murphy fed Spiro Goulakos and his one-timer found the back of the Devils' net at 34:40 to halve the deficit.

The Giants found the equaliser at 43:51 on the powerplay. In a scramble in front of Devils' netminder Ben Bowns it was Riley who got the final touch to tie the game at 2-2.

From that moment on it was end-to-end helter-skelter action as Whistle and Bowns matched each other save for save as both sides sought the win and it was the Giants netminder who made the biggest stop as he turned away a penalty shot awarded to Justin Faryna.

The game went to overtime but it was Martin's effort that split the sides giving the visitors a huge win in the title race.

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