The Stena Line Belfast Giants claimed a well earned two points with a 4-1 win over the Coventry Blaze in Belfast on Monday.
Two David Rutherford strikes and empty net goals from Jeff Mason and Chris Higgins gave the Giants the win which sees the Belfast side close the gap on the Cardiff Devils in first place to four points with both sides now level on games played.
After only 3:55, Jim Vandermeer and Garrett Klotz dropped the gloves after the Blaze forward has been called for Slashing.
The Giants outshot the Blaze almost two to one in the opening period, putting 15 shots on the Coventry net compared to the eight on Stephen Murphy. However Blaze netminder Brian Stewart stood tall for the visitors to keep the game scoreless after the opening 20 minutes.
Despite having the better of the play, the Giants fell behind at 36:44 when Ashley Tait picked up a rebound in front of the net and slotted home on the powerplay, assisted by Ross Venus and Brett Robinson.
Forty seconds later and the score was level again when David Rutherford cut inside and ripped a wrist shot high into the Coventry goal at 37:24, assisted by Adam Keefe and Alex Foster.
The Giants took the lead for the first time in this game at 46:19 when David Rutherford netted on the powerplay.
Adam Keefe and Garrett Klotz dropped the gloves at centre-ice after the Giants captain took exception to a hit the Blaze player put on Alex Foster in the Giants zone.
With 69 seconds remaining in the game, the Giants made sure of the win with a Jeff Mason empty net goal. Chris Higgins added another empty net goal with 28 seconds left on the clock, assisted by Blair Riley and Brandon Benedict.
Rutherford’s second goal of the game proved to be the game winning goal as the Stena Line Belfast Giants made it two wins in-a-row and cut the gap on the first placed Cardiff Devils to four points.
Next up for the Giants are back-to-back home games against the Sheffield Steelers at The SSE Arena on Saturday, Face-off 4pm, and Sunday, face-off 4pm.
Tickets for both games are now on sale online from Ticketmaster and from the Arena Box Office in person or by calling 028 9073 9074.