Giants at double ahead of Devils clash
Edinburgh Caps 1-3 Belfast Giants
It was a case of better late than never for the Belfast Giants as they completed their first four-point weekend in the Elite League for four months.
Goals from Brandon Benedict, James Desmarais and Chris Higgins secured a 3-1 win over the Edinburgh Capitals, just 24 hours after a 7-2 win in the first game of the weekend's double header.
They had to do it the hard way though as the Caps led through Paul Zanette's first period goal and ex-Giants goaltender Carsen Chubak put up a strong block to keep his former team mates at bay.
It wasn't until less than eight minutes from the end of the game that the Giants managed to break Chubak's stubborn resistance and then the goals flowed, with three in little more than five minutes turning the game around.
With Cardiff Devils losing to Braehead the Giants have cut their lead at the top of the Elite League table to six points with two games in hand.
The results of last night's games have now set up a mega clash between the Giants and the Devils at the Odyssey Arena on Wednesday night, when that lead could be slashed to just four points, with a hectic post-Christmas period, which brings five games in eight nights, still to come.
Giants player-coach Derrick Walser ran without defenceman Jeff Mason and injured forward Colin Shields for a second night, but still had a full compliment of imports on the ice.
After a tight first period the Capitals took full advantage of their first powerplay of the game to open the scoring.
Mike Wilson was sent to the penalty box for a holding offence and just 19 seconds after he took his seat Ned Lukacevic and Ryan Hayes combined to work the opening for Zanette to score at 14:37.
For a long time it looked like the Giants had used up all their goals for the weekend in one go after Saturday night's seven up and two powerplays passed them by early in the third period.
The comeback started, however, at 52:26 when Walser and Darryl Lloyd worked the puck and Benedict finished the move.
They were in front at 16:43, with Walser involved again as Mike Radja set up Desmarais.
The Giants were rolling now and the goal that really broke the Capitals' hearts came exactly a minute later.
Craig Peacock created the chance and Higgins continued his hot form since returning from injury with his fourth goal of the season.