Elite League: Leaders Belfast Giants see off Guildford Flames 3-1

Francis Beauvillier scored for Giants in the second period
Francis Beauvillier scored for Giants in the second period

Elite League leaders Belfast Giants returned to winning ways by beating Guildford Flames 3-1 away from home on Saturday night.

Goals from Blair Riley in the first period and Darcy Murphy and Francis Beauvillier in the second put the Giants in control.

Ian Watters grabbed a consolation for the hosts in the third period.

The Giants face Cardiff Devils in their next game at the SSE Arena on Sunday (17:00 GMT).

Belfast extend their lead at the top to two points over Nottingham Panthers, who went down 3-2 to Manchester Storm after overtime.

Riley put the Giants ahead after 8:28 of the first period, assisted by David Rutherford and Tyler Beskorowany.

Riley fired past Chris Carrozzi to score for the fifth successive league game.

A quick-fire double from Murphy and Beauvillier inside 50 seconds during the second period put Belfast firmly in control, before Watters' goal unassisted at 51:31 reduced Guildford's deficit.

Murphy was on target at 28:59, scoring unassisted on a delayed penalty. Beauvillier was assisted by Jonathan Ferland.

The Giants had stumbled in their previous two Elite League games, losing 4-2 to Sheffield Steelers and then 6-4 to Dundee Stars.

Prior to that, Adam Keefe's side had won their previous 10 matches.

The victory means the Giants finish their 16-game road trip in the league with 13 wins.