The Belfast Giants lost a third straight game as they slumped to a 4-2 loss against Nottingham Panthers at the National Ice Centre.
The Panthers lie fourth after their success over the Giants, who occupy fifth.
The Panthers shared their goals between Robert Lachowicz, Juraj Kolnik, Stephen Schultz and Robert Farmer.
The Giants goals came from Michael Forney and Mike Radja.
The Giants are back in action on Saturday night with a meeting against leaders Cardiff Devils in Wales.