Panthers close gap on Blaze

The Genting Casino Coventry Blaze were beaten 4-1 by Nottingham Panthers at Motorpoint Arena on Saturday, further throwing the Elite League playoff race wide open.

The Panthers had two early opportunities to go ahead on the powerplay, but despite not being able to covert they used the momentum to score the opening goal of the game at 13.41 through Anthony Luciani.

Three minutes later Luciani scored on a rebound to double Nottingham’s lead and that was the way it remained through 20 minutes of play.

Just ahead of the mid-way point, Stephen Anderson was fed by Otto Nieminen to finish past Taran Kozun at the backdoor to make it 3-0 to the home side.

Blaze didn’t allow their heads to drop and got on the board through their top point scorer Ian McNulty. The Canadian firing in his 18th goal and 48th point from Johnny Curran at 35.03.

Blaze’s hopes of a comeback were damaged at 38.34 when Panthers used their powerplay to add a fourth goal through Hugo Roy.

Coventry pushed in the final period, and Captain Brady Norrish hit the inside of Rok Stojanovic’s goal post but that was as close as they were to come as the game ended 4-1.

With victory, the Panthers moved to within two points of the Blaze and a post-season playoff position.  

Photo credit: Panthers Images