Belfast Giants collapse at star hand of the Devils
Cardiff Devils 4 Belfast Giants 3 (after overtime): Cardiff Devils’ NHL star Paul Bissonnette stunned the Belfast Giants as he inspired an amazing comeback in the Welsh capital.
Leading 3-0 at the halfway stage of the game, the Giants succumbed to a 4-3 overtime defeat, with Cardiff’s winning goal the only one that Bissonnette didn’t have a hand in.
After Darryl Lloyd, Craig Peacock and Adam Keefe had scored for the Giants, Bissonnette sparked the fightback himself by scoring Cardiff’s first of the night, but at that stage there was less than 15 minutes to go.
He got assists on goals from Josh Batch and Mac Faulkner as the Devils forced overtime and it was Faulkner who then struck the game-winning goal in the added period.
The Giants had come out flying and it was no surprise when they took the lead at 10:51, when David Phillips and Mark Garside set-up Lloyd to finish.
Less than five minutes later it was 2-0, with Phillips involved in the move again, but this time Noah Clarke provided the final pass for Peacock to fire home.
The Giants failed to score during a five-on-three powerplay and then rung the pipes before Keefe struck a powerplay goal at 29:28 and after winning 3-2 in Hull on Saturday night it looked like a case of how many goals they would win by.
A number of chances were spurned by the Giants in what remained of the second period before the comeback started when Bissonnette netted on the powerplay at 45:18, while Clarke sat in the box.
The goal gave Cardiff some momentum, with Stephen Murphy in the Giants goal coming under increasing pressure and he was unable to stop Batch netting at 49:08, with Bissonnette assisting.
And it was Bissonnette who linked with Chris Blight as Faulkner levelled the scores at 52:29.
All of a sudden, having bossed the game, the Giants were rocking after conceding three goals in just over seven minutes.
The Belfast men were relieved to see the game go into overtime, knowing that they’d at least secured a point and that was all they ended up with as Faulkner ended the drama by scoring the winner 1:38 into overtime.