The Stena Line Belfast Giants fell to a Saturday loss in Sheffield with the Steelers staging a comeback to win 4-1.
The defeat leaves the Giants two points behind the Cardiff Devils with the Welsh side having played one game less.
Tyler Beskorowany started in the Giants net with the Belfast side missing Guillaume Gelinas, Pat Dwyer and Andrew Dickson.
Honours Even In First Period
Belfast opened the scoring at 14:23 as Dustin Johner fed the puck to Darcy Murphy and the forward stick handled well then finished cooly past Whistle in the Steelers net.
The hosts hit back soon after when John Armstrong’s powerful shot flew into the Belfast goal at 17:00, assisted by Ben O’Connor and David Phillips.
Steelers Snatch Go-Ahead Goal
Ryan Martinelli grabbed the only goal of the middle period when John Armstrong picked out the Steelers defenceman in space at the back post at 28:43.
Steelers Extend Advantage
Sheffield extended their lead at 52:32 as Anthony DeLuca used a 2-on-1 advantage to find the net.
The home side made sure of their win at 59:23 when Jonas Westerling scored into the empty net, assisted by Eric Neiley.
Sheffield Steelers 1-4 Stena Line Belfast Giants
Giants Player of the Game
#15 Darcy Murphy (1 Goal)
The Giants return to action on Sunday against the Manchester Storm on Sunday 3rd March, face-off 4pm at The SSE Arena, Belfast.
Belfast then play host to the Glasgow Clan on Friday 8th March, face-off 7pm, before travelling to Cardiff for the Challenge Cup Final against the Guildford Flames on Sunday 10th March.
Tickets are now available from the Arena Box Office in person or by calling (028) 9073 9074 as well as online from ticketmaster.ie.