Belfast Giant's winning run of six games in a row was ended by a humbling 4-1 defeat by Nottingham Panthers at the Motorpoint Arena.
Brett Perlini, Brett Bulmer and William Quist scored for the Panthers, who led 3-0 at the end of the second period.
Brian Ward pulled a goal back for the Giants before Jake Hansen wrapped up the win 90 seconds later for the hosts.
The Giants slip to third in the Elite League with the top four teams separated by just three points.
Nottingham sit sixth, six points off leaders Glasgow Clan.
Both sides failed to take chances before Perlini stuck the puck through the legs of Giants net minder Shane Owen to break the deadlock with 1:24 remaining in the first period.
Panthers made it two at 24:10 when Bulmer hammered home a one-timer after impressive play by Brian Connelly forced a rebound off Owen.
The game looked done and dusted on 37:00 when Quist fired home from close after good work from Bulmer.
Ward's power-play goal on 53:02 for the Giants was quickly cancelled out by Hansen's effort, who again benefitted from good work by Connelly to restore the Panthers' three-goal cushion.
The two sides face-off again at the Motorpoint Arena on Sunday afternoon.