SHEFFIELD Steelers kept in touch with the title favourites with a barnstorming win at Belfast Giants.
Their 4-1 success started with goals from Steven Goertzen and Jeff Legue, which put them in control in the second period.
Steelers added a third in the third period via Ashley Tait at 44.37.
Ryan Finnerty’s men protected the 3-0 lead until 58;44 when Daymen Rycroft found the net for the Irish.
Giants took the gamble of lifting their netminder, punished by Simon Ferguson’s empty net goal at 59.45.
The victory moved Sheffield clear in third place as Cardiff suffered a 3-2 home defeat to struggling Hull, who are now only one point behind Edinburgh after the Capitals lost 2-0 away to Dundee.
Nottingham Panthers moved four points clear at the top of the Elite League as they edged out the Coventry Blaze 1-0.
Bruce Graham scored late in the second period as Nottingham took advantage of Belfast’s home defeat.
Steelers’ Period Scores: Belfast 0+0+1=1 Sheffield 0+2+2=4
Penalty Minutes: Belfast 2+8+2=12 Sheffield 4+6+6=16
Shots on:Stephen Murphy 13+17+4=34 + 1 ENG. John DeCaro 17+11+12=40
Powerplay: Belfast 0/8 Sheffield1/6
Referee: Tom Darnell