Elite League: Belfast Giants go down 4-1 to Sheffield Steelers
The Belfast Giants trail Elite League leaders Cardiff Devils by two points after losing 4-1 away to Sheffield Steelers on Saturday.
Darcy Murphy put the Giants ahead but John Armstrong levelled to leave the score level after the first period.
Ryan Martinelli's goal made it 2-1 by the end of the second period and Anthony De Luca and Jonas Westerling added further strikes for the hosts.
Cardiff have played one game less than Adam Keefe's side.
The Giants play Manchester Storm at the SSE Arena on Sunday (16:00 BST).
Tyler Beskorowany started in the Giants' net with the Belfast side missing Guillaume Gelinas, Pat Dwyer and Andrew Dickson.
Belfast opened the scoring at 14:23 as Dustin Johner fed the puck to Murphy and the forward stick handled well, then finished coolly into the Steelers net.
The hosts hit back soon after when Armstrong's powerful shot flew into the Belfast goal at 17:00, assisted by Ben O'Connor and David Phillips.
Martinelli grabbed the only goal of the middle period when Armstrong picked out the Steelers defenceman in space at the back post at 28:43.
Sheffield extended their lead at 52:32 as De Luca used a 2-on-1 advantage to find the net.
The home side made sure of their win at 59:23 when Westerling scored into the empty net, assisted by Eric Neiley.