Panthers put a spanner in the Giants Cup final preparations
COACH Steve Thornton hit out at his under-par Belfast side after they went down 7-5 to Nottingham.
James Ferrara and Jade Galbraith bagged doubles as the Giants, with one eye on next week's Challenge Cup final second leg, dropped to fourth in the Elite League.
And Thornton, whose side face Manchester Phoenix on Tuesday, didn't mince his words in attacking his off-colour troops.
"I hope that their minds are on Tuesday night," said Thornton.
"It would explain why we were so bad. I can't single out anyone who played well tonight.
"We were coasting along, any 50-50s were won by them and it's so frustrating.
"There have been other times when I haven't been happy, but that's maybe been after playing three games in three or four nights and having 11 skaters.
"But we have almost a full roster and still made so many mistakes."
Ferrara and Johan Molin's 27th of the season put the Panthers 2-0 up before Mike Burgoyne pulled one back.
Malcolm MacMillan levelled things up before Ferrara and Corey Neilson made it 4-2 at the end of the second period.
Mark Richardson scored just 16 seconds into the third period to further stretch the Nottingham side's lead before Galbraith's second made it 6-2. George Awada added Giants' third but Galbraith restored the visitor's four-goal advantage.
David Phillips and Colin Shields put an air of respectability on the scoreline but it was too little too late for the Northern Irish outfit.