Coventry Blaze 6-3 Belfast Giants
Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe admitted his side are beating themselves up after they dropped their fourth game in a row with a 6-3 loss at the Coventry Blaze.
Tied at 3-3, the Giants conceded three unanswered goals in the third period from Luke Ferrara, Matt Pohlkamp and David Broll to fall to another frustrating defeat at the SkyDome.
Despite out-shooting Coventry across the game, Keefe's men were frustrated by a 33-save performance from Blaze netminder Jamie Phillips, and that, coupled with Saturday's 4-2 loss to the Dundee Stars at the SSE Arena, means they are now 8-6-2 in the Elite League after being tied top this time two weeks ago.
The Giants had their chances to be in a commanding position at the SkyDome too, with Ben Lake missing a penalty shot and Brian Ward firing wide of an empty cage.
"If you look at the second period alone, we had a breakaway, we had a penalty shot, we had four or five two-on-ones, a couple of empty nets. We had nothing to show for it," blasted Keefe.
"If we score a couple, it's a different game. Instead, we like to keep it close and find ways to beat ourselves right now."
As well as that, the Giants went 0-for-2 on the powerplay and also conceded a short-handed goal - and 0-for-4 across the weekend's two games - while the penalty kill was just 1-for-3 at the SkyDome - and 1-for-5 on the weekend - with a short-handed goal of their own.
"Special teams as a whole were not very good this weekend. It's the reason why we're looking at no points this weekend. They cost us and that's disappointing," added Keefe.
"You don't want to say too much as our penalty kill has been spectacular this season. This weekend it wasn't and our powerplay was no better."
It means the Giants, after going on a superb six-game winning run, haven't won since November 3 and are struggling to find form ahead of a huge double-header at the Cardiff Devils.
For Keefe, this rough spell has a lot of the same hallmarks as when they had to endure a six-game winless stretch earlier in the campaign.
"We knew before the six-game winning streak we had some problems. The winning streak band-aided that. Now it's been ripped off again," he admitted.
"There's no question we're struggling to get consistent scoring and tonight we struggled to keep the puck out of the net too.
"That, coupled with special teams this weekend, is an odd recipe for success."