Elite League: Belfast Giants cruise to 5-1 away win over Guildford Flames
Belfast Giants secured a 5-1 victory over Guildford Flames but remain fourth in the Elite League table after Cardiff and Nottingham also won.
After Sunday's 4-0 defeat by Nottingham, the Giants could not afford another reverse to maintain any lingering hopes of retaining the title.
Curtis Hamilton and Liam Morgan put Belfast 2-0 up in the first period before TJ Foster's reply.
Goals from Liam Reddox, Elgin Pearce and David Goodwin made the game safe.
Belfast are now three points behind leaders Sheffield and also have a game in hand on the Steelers.
However, Cardiff remain in pole position to clinch the title after their last-gasp 3-2 win over lowly Fife, thanks to former Giant Blair Riley's last-minute winner, moved them to within a point of Sheffield having played three games less.
Nottingham Panthers also stayed ahead of the Giants in the title race as they secured a 4-2 win in Glasgow.
Hamilton put Belfast ahead in the seventh minute with Morgan doubling the advantage two minutes later.
Foster replied for Guildford before the end of the first period but Reddox restored Belfast two-goal advantage in the 32nd minute before final-period strikes from Pearce and Goodwin.
Belfast will be back in action on Saturday and Sunday as they face Manchester Storm and Sheffield away.