The Stena Line Belfast Giants lost out to the Cardiff Devils 5-2 on Sunday in the weekend’s second instalment between the two sides at the top of the Elite League.
Three Cardiff goals in quick succession in the opening period helped the Welsh side extend their lead at the top of the standings.
The Giants remain in second place, nine points behind the Devils with one game in-hand.
The Devils took a commanding lead in the opening period with three goals in quick succession. First Mark Richardson, playing his 800th Elite League game, broke the deadlock at 12:50, finishing off from Mike Hedden’s assist.
Matt Pope doubled the Devils lead almost immediately, firing low into the Giants net at 12:59, assisted by Sean Bentivoglio and Joey Martin.
Bryce Reddick rounded off the scoring in the first period, making it three at 14:01, assisted by Sam Duggan and Drew Schiestel.
The Giants got their middle period off to the best possible start when Kyle Baun finished off a sweeping move on the powerplay at 22:49, assisted by Pat Dwyer and Jim Vandermeer.
Dwyer was at it again minutes later when his clever pass found Blair Riley and the Giants Captain took his chance and brought the visitors to within one at 25:16.
Evan Mosey restored the Devils two goal advantage at 22:03, finishing well on a breakaway assisted by Layne Ulmer.
Joey Martin grabbed the Devils fifth of the game on the powerplay at 52:46, assisted by Sean Bentivoglio and Layne Ulmer.