Elite League: Nottingham Panthers and Belfast Giants have work to do
Last Updated: March 31, 2013 10:18am
Brandon Benedict: Scored a vital goal in the third period for the Nottingham Panthers
Nottingham Panthers will have to overturn a two-goal deficit if they are to progress in the Elite League play-offs after losing 4-2 to Fife Flyers in the first leg of their quarter-final.
The Flyers made a fast start against the team that finished the regular season on top of the table, Casey Haines putting them in front with a powerplay goal at 1.39.
Bobby Chaumont and Josh Turnbell added further goals for the hosts in the period and Kriss Hogg put Fife four up in the second.
However, the Panthers managed a pair of powerplay strikes, in the 47th and 49th minute, from David Ling and Brandon Benedict before the game had to be ended early due to broken plexi glass.
In other ties, Belfast Giants rallied from a goal down to defeat Edinburgh Capitals 3-1 in the Welsh capital.
The visitors broke the deadlock a minute into the second period through Peter Holecko, only for the Giants to level through Craig Peacock.
Daymen Rycroft and David Phillips then found the net for Belfast, giving them a two-goal cushion heading into the return fixture in Scotland on Sunday.
Braehead Clan also lead by a similar margin against Cardiff Devils after recording a 7-5 triumph in their first leg.
The Devils looked to be in serious trouble when Braehead went 7-3 ahead in the final period, but goals from Mark Richardson and Max Birbraer, his second of the night, cut the gap in half.
Sheffield Steelers were the only away side to enjoy success, recording a narrow 3-2 victory over Coventry Blaze that means they are favourites to reach the last four.