Sheffield Steelers recorded their eighth-straight win on Saturday night- but it was a touch-and-go evening against their biggest rivals.
A well-drilled Nottingham Panthers took the lead after 68 seconds through Juraj Kolnik and were pretty much in charge of the early stages of the Challenge Cup game.
But a defensive mistake let in centreman Fredrick Vestberg who levelled at 6;51.
After that Steelers managed to find some momentum.
Winger Mathieu Roy scored a typical goal by his own predatory standards on a 5-on-3 power play at 39;17.
And after a super-close last period it finished 2-1 for Sheffield.
Steelers coach Paul Thompson recognised it had been a tight affair, but his side had proved again that they can defend and do enough to win the closest of encounters.
Rod Sarich was Steelers' man of the match.
Afterwards Panthers boss Corey Neilson described the mistake which let Sheffield back in as a "boo boo" but said he was proud of his team and thought it a "decent night."
*Great Britain winger Rob Dowd missed the game with an upper-body injury.
* Cardiff Devils - whom Steelers face tonight - moved up to second spot in the Elite League standings with a 3-1 win over Fife Flyers on Saturday.
The Devils took the lead through Leigh Salters' power-play strike in the first period and went further ahead when Gui Doucet made it 2-0 in the second with his eighth goal of the season.
Michael Dorr quickly pulled a goal for the Flyers but Tomas Kurka wrapped up the win midway through the third as Cardiff moved above Belfast, who were beaten 2-1 by Coventry Blaze after penalties.
Drew Fisher was the hero for Coventry, netting twice in the shoot-out including the sudden-death winner.
The match between Manchester Storm and Edinburgh Capitals also went all the way, with the Giants emerging 3-2 winners after penalty shots, while Braehead Clan won a high-scoring all-Scottish clash against Dundee Stars 6-4.
*Colt King has said he will return to Sheffield to play in Steeler veteran Jason Hewitt's testimonial match on January 26.
Saturday 10th October
Belfast Giants 1 Coventry Blaze 2 (PS)
Fife Flyers 1 Cardiff Devils 3
Manchester Storm 3 Edinburgh Capitals 2 (PS)
Elite League/Challenge Cup Group A
Braehead Clan 6 Dundee Stars 4
Challenge Cup Group B
Sheffield Steelers 2 Nottingham Panthers 1