The Stena Line Belfast Giants defeated the Nottingham Panthers 4-3 on Friday in the PredictorBet Playoffs Quarter Final 1st Leg.
Goals from Murphy, Rutherford, Shields and Kurtz give the Giants a one-goal lead going into Sunday’s 2nd Leg in Nottingham.
The winner of the Giants vs Panthers tie will advance to the PredictorBet Playoff Finals next weekend, hosted in Nottingham.
Giants Race Into First Period Lead
Darcy Murphy opened the scoring after 9:11, capitalising on a Panthers giveaway and the forward have the hosts a 1st Leg lead.
David Rutherford doubled the Giants lead with a powerplay strike, assisted by Blair Riley and Darcy Murphy at 10:22.
Colin Shields made it 3-0 with the Giants second powerplay goal of the period, assisted by Sebastien Sylvestre and Jonathan Ferland at 13:16.
David Clarke bundled the puck home for the Panthers first of the night, assisted by Eric Lindhagen with seven seconds to go in the period.
Panthers Get Back Into Playoffs Tie
Mark Derlago made it a one-goal game 38 seconds into the middle period, assisted by Luke Pither.
John Kurtz gave the Giants a two goal cushion at 32:34, assisted by Sebastien Sylvestre and Spiro Goulakos.
Nottingham Edge Closer To Giants
David Clarke scored his second of the night at 48:15, assisted by Raphael Bussieres and Eric Lindhagen.
Stena Line Belfast Giants 4-3 Nottingham Panthers
Giants Man of the Match
#21 John Kurtz (1 Goal + 1 Assist)
The Giants now face the Nottingham Panthers away on Sunday for a place in the Final Four weekend, face-off 7pm. No live stream is available though there will be live updates through the Giants facebook and twitter channels.
🚨 GIANTS WIN! 🚨
— Belfast Giants (@BelfastGiants) March 30, 2018