The Stena Line Belfast Giants lost out to the Cardiff Devils 4-2 in Saturday’s weekend opener.
A game winning goal from Gleason Fournier early in the final period gave the league leaders a first win over the Giants this season.
Saturday’s defeat sees the Giants remain in second place, seven points behind the Devils with one game in-hand. Belfast have a chance to respond immediately when the two sides go toe-to-toe on Sunday at 4pm in Cardiff.
Colin Shields opened the scoring with a hammer of a slapshot from the face-off circle at 9:01, assisted by Curtis Leonard and Kendall McFaull..
Cardiff hit back on the powerplay at 16:00 when Charles Linglet picked out Mike Hidden in space at the back post and the Devil finished well into the Giants net.
Layne Ulmer edged the hosts in front at 22:08 with a close range effort, assisted by Matt Pope.
The Devils extended their lead at 42:17 when Gleason Fournier scored from the blueline, assisted by Matthew Myers.
Darcy Murphy’s powerplay strike at 50:19 made it a one-goal game, assisted by Blair Riley and Jim Vandermeer.
The Giants pressed for the late equaliser, though Sean Bentivoglio took advantage of the empty Giants net and extended the Cardiff lead to 4-2 at 58:57.