Sheffield Steelers must try and stop the top two teams pulling away from the pack, this weekend.
Leaders Cardiff Devils are top of the pile with a 56 points - their midweek 1-0 shut out of Braehead Clan underlining their current superiority.
They have a game in hand and are three points to the good over nearest rivals Belfast Giants.
Cardiff have back-to-back games with fourth from bottom Coventry Blaze this weekend, while Belfast, who are riding high after six straight wins, are on the road at Nottingham Panthers before challenging third-place Steelers, at Sheffield Arena.
Steelers are 11 points behind the Welsh, with a single game in hand, so they cannot afford to drop points at Milton Keynes on Saturday and then Sunday’s Giants clash - a match of obvious importance.
If Giants drop both games this weekend and Steelers get maximum points, Paul Thompson’s men will have closed the gap to four points on the Irish.
But don’t forget the teams on a par with Sheffield’s current points tally, Fife Flyers and Manchester Storm
The Scots are a specific threat, they have the same points total...and three game in hand.
They are desperate to work off a form slump; they’ve lost the last three.