Justin Faryna led Cardiff Devils to a seven goal Elite League spree against Nottingham Panthers in Cardiff Bay.
A 3,000-plus sell-out attendance overwhelm Nottingham Panthers at Ice Arena Wales.
Calgary-born Faryna scored four goals and Devils extended their leaf at the top to seven points.
Second-placed Belfast Giants lost 6-3 at home against coach Ryan Finnerty’s Manchester Storm, while Sheffield Steelers went down 4-2 against Guildford Flames.
Devils have 15 league fixtures left between now and the end of March in their quest to retain the title they won last season.
Panthers were a goal ahead after the first period and the visitors kept Devils out during a two minutes 5v3 penalty kill, leaving home fans nervous going into the second.
There was no need to worry. Devils scored four times in the second and added three more in the final 20 minutes to read 7-3 before Panthers fired a couple of consolation goals.
Man of the match Faryna finished with five points, four goals plus an assist, while Gleason Fournier and Jake Morissette added three assists apiece in an impressive home win.
Devils outshot Panthers 10-4 in the first, but the only goal came from Nottingham’s Jeff Brown on a powerplay at six minutes 32 seconds.
The middle period was all Devils. The home team scored four times to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
Faryna levelled the score at 21-28 and added his second of the game less than a minute later to make it 2-1 at 22-25.
Layne Ulmer tipped in a shot from Matt Pope on the powerplay to put the Devils 3-1 ahead 27-29 and Joey Haddad added their fourth when he walked out from the corner and tucked the puck past Patrick Galbraith in goal.
Faryna completed his hat-trick at 50-24 and Paul Crowder tapped in a rebound from a shot by Morissette 18 seconds later to give the Devils a 6-1 lead.
That led to a change of goaltender at both ends. Michael Garnett took over from Galbraith for Nottingham, while Cardiff back-up Thomas Murdy went on for Ben Bowns.
Faryna scored his fourth goal of the night at 53-27 to give the Devils a 7-1 lead, while the Panthers scored twice on the powerplay to end the period.
Zach Phillips (56-43) and Yann Sauve (59-24) were the scorers, but this was a night when Devils were convincing winners.
Second-placed Belfast Giants lost 6-3 at home against Storm with Luke Moffatt scoring a hat-trick for Manchester at the SSE Arena.
Storm, who have won their last six matches, led 3-0 after the first period and maintained their grip on the game.
Other Elite League results: Coventry Blaze 4, MK Lightning 3; Dundee Stars 3, Braehead Clan 4; Edinburgh Capitals 0, Fife Flyers 3; Guildford Flames 4, Sheffield Steelers 2.
Scorers, Devils: Justin Faryna 4+1, Paul Crowder 1+1, Joey Haddad 1+0, Layne Ulmer 1+0, Jake Morissette 0+3, Gleason Fournier 0+3, Ben Bowns 0+1, Matt Pope 0+1, Andrew Hotham 0+1, Matthew Myers 0+1, Sean Bentivoglio 0+1.
Panthers: Jeff Brown 1+1, Zack Phillips 1+0, Yann Sauve 1+1, Brett Perlini 0+2, Mark Deriago 0+1, Luke Pither 0+1.
Period scores (Devils first): 0-1; 4-0 (4-1); 3-2 (7-3).
Shots on goal: Devils (on Galbraith/Garnett) 10+16+10-36; Panthers (Bowns/Murdy) 4+4+13=21.
Powerplays: Devils 1/2; Panthers 3/4.
Penalties in minutes: Devils 2+4+4=10; Panthers 4+4+0=8.
Referee: Mike Hicks and Dean Smith
Stars of the game: Devils, Justin Faryna; Panthers, Yann Sauve.
Notes: Devils first goal was a delayed penalty goal against Panthers David Clark number 5 for slashing.
ELITE LEAGUE STANDINGS
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