The Belfast Giants shaded a 4-3 win over Nottingham Panthers on Friday night to close the gap on the Elite League leaders to three points.
The Giants got a short-handed opener through player-coach Derrick Walser but Jeff Dimmen pulled the Panthers level.
In the second period Mike Forney's powerplay breakaway goal make it 2-1 with Andy Bohmbach equalising.
Mike Radja scored from an acute angle and James Desmarais made it 4-2 before Nottingham's David Ling got one back.
The teams meet again on Saturday night in the second match of their double-header.
Nottingham lead the league on 28 points, with Sheffield Steelers on 27 and Belfast 25.