Champions Nottingham absorbed a single period of pressure to take charge and dominate at Sheffield Arena tonight.
Matt Francis scored for the visitors in a goal against the run of play.
Sheffield had a variety of chances but couldn’t put one away in that first session.
They did get one in the second period - but the rest of that session was little short of a disaster.
Stephen Lee and David Clarke both beat Frank Doyle to make it a deserved 3-1 to the triple winners.
Steelers needed to re-group - but there was little sign of that.
And when Matt Ryan flipped in the fourth, it was hardly a surprise, as Panthers had controlled most of the play.
It waas not an ideal way to start a career at Sheffield for the legion of new boys present.
*Saturday night coverage: Doug Christiansen emerged successful from his baptism of fire. The new Sheffield Steelers’ coach led his team to a 4-2 win at Coventry Blaze.
Jonathan Phillips, Danny Meyers and Stefan Meyer gave the visitors a commanding lead.
But two Power Plays goals either side of the first break (Ginand and Henrich) forced Blaze back in the game.
Jeff Legue ensured the fourth Steelers goal at 45;34 was the winning strike.
Tim Spencer was Sheffield man of the match.
Read Monday’s Star for weekend assessment.