The Stena Line Belfast Giants started well in an important weekend for the Elite League title race – defeating the Coventry Blaze 4-1 in Belfast on Friday.
Goals from Blair Riley, Darcy Murphy, Jordan Smotherman and Kyle Baun plus an impressive display in net by Stephen Murphy gave the hosts an important win.
The Giants keep up their chase on the league leading Cardiff Devils, who lie two points ahead having played one game less.
Next up for the Belfast side is a re-match against the Blaze tonight at The SSE Arena, face-off 7pm.
Stephen Murphy backstopped the Giants to the win against Coventry with the home side missing David Rutherford, Guillaume Gelinas, Tyler Beskorowany and Andrew Dickson for the encounter.
The hosts opened the scoring at 14:19 when Captain Blair Riley netted shorthanded with a cool breakaway finish.
The impressive Riley has been in great form in recent weeks.
Darcy Murphy doubled the Belfast lead at 19:44 with a fine effort, assisted by Kyle Baun and Pat Dwyer.
It was a good finish from Murphy after good work fom Baun and Dwyer.
The Blaze pulled one back in the middle period through Tim Crowder, assisted by Shawn Pauly, at 26:53.
And they looked as if they could get back in the game.
The Giants sealed the win with two empty net finishes in the final minute of the game as Jordan Smotherman, 59:16, and Kyle Baun, 59:57, made sure of the home win to keep the Giants hopes of more silverware this season very much alive after this impressive win.
Next up for the Giants is the Coventry Blaze again tonight, 7pm at The SSE Arena, Belfast.
Tickets are now available from the Arena Box Office in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074 as well as online from ticketmaster.ie.