The Cardiff Devils suffered their first overtime defeat of the season as they fell 5-4 to the Fife Flyers.
The Flyers sealed their win 1:32 into 3-on-3 overtime as Brett Bulmer fired a rebound past Ben Bowns to hand the Devils their third-straight defeat.
Trailing 4-3, Devils centre Matthew Myers’ tip-in 13:11 into the third period forced the game beyond regulation time, but the hosts were never able to get a firm grip on the game.
Coming off a shot-shy performance against the Nottingham Panthers on Sunday, the Devils did indeed increase their offensive production registering 48 shots on goal to the Flyers’ 24, but they found Fife goaltender Shane Owen in defiant form as his 44 saves backstopped the Scottish team, who sit in second-place in the Elite League, to the win. .
The Cardiff Devils remain fourth in the standings with a 9-1-1 record.
There was to be no repeat of last month’s meeting between the two sides, in which the Devils ran out comfortable 7-2 winners. Instead, the Devils would spend large portions of this encounter chasing the game as Fife pressed ahead forging a two-goal lead.
Despite outshooting the Flyers 15-5 in the first period, it was the Cardiff Devils who found themselves trailing as Joe Basaraba and former Devil Paul Crowder scored against the run of play.
Two goals within twenty-four seconds in the middle period saw the Devils tie the game up. The Devils scored twice on successive power plays against the league’s best penalty killers as Joey Martin (Layne Ulmer, Matt Pope) and then Bryce Reddick (Charles Linglet, Mike Hedden) scored in quick succession to make it 2-2.
The Devils again found themselves chasing the game when Fife converted a power play effort of their own on 15:01 through Mike Cazzola.
Flyers goaltender Shane Owens allowed his first goal in 5-on-5 play 1:18 into the final period as the Devils again fought back, this time through veteran Layne Ulmer (Joey Haddad, Bryce Reddick).
The visitors then added their fourth of the night with Danick Gauthier again converting on the power play, before Myers (Mark Richardson, Josh Batch) again put the Devils back on level terms.
League-leading point scorer Paul Crowder was again involved forcing Bowns to make an overtime save for Bulmer to capitalise with the decisive goal.
The Devils travel to MK Lightning on Saturday as they look to turnaround their form before hosting championship contenders the Belfast Giants the following night.
BOX SCORE Fife Flyers 2 1 1 1 -- 5 Cardiff Devils 0 2 2 0 -- 4 FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: FIF - Basaraba (Bloodoff, Aarssen) 3:46. FIF - Crowder (Pinkston, Bulmer) 19:19. Penalties: Bloodoff, FIF (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 7:01. Louis, CAR (Cross Checking, Minor, 2 min) 10:14. Basaraba, FIF (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 11:26. SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: CAR - Martin (powerplay) (Ulmer, Pope) 4:00. CAR - Reddick (powerplay) (Linglet, Hedden) 4:24. FIF - Cazzola (powerplay) (Finucci, Stoflet) 15:01. Penalties: Stoflet, FIF (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 2:41. Isaacs, FIF (Cross Checking, Minor, 2 min) 4:00. Moore, CAR (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 13:26. Isaacs, FIF (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 15:32. THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: CAR - Ulmer (Haddad, Reddick) 1:18. FIF - Gauthier (powerplay) (Bulmer, Basaraba) 10:04. CAR - Myers (Richardson, Batch) 13:11. Penalties: Basaraba, FIF (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 5:41. Pope, CAR (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 8:57. Pinkston, FIF (Holding, Minor, 2 min) 10:21. Cazzola, FIF (Cross Checking, Minor, 2 min) 15:39. OVERTIME -- Scoring: FIF - Bulmer (Stoflet, Crowder) 1:42. SHOTS ON GOAL: Fife Flyers 5 10 7 2 -- 24 Cardiff Devils 15 17 15 1 -- 48 POWER PLAY STATS PPG ADV SHG Fife Flyers 2 3 0 Cardiff Devils 2 8 0 GOALIES AWAY TEAM MIN S SV Shane Owen 61:42 48 44 HOME TEAM MIN S SV Ben Bowns 61:42 24 19