Published Monday, 13 February 2012
A late strike from Kuiper gives Giants the win in Nottingham (© Diane Davey Photography)
After falling behind 2-0 to the hosts, the Giants battled back in the third period to win the game in the dying seconds.
Goals from Stephen Lee and Robert Lachowicz gave the Panthers a comfortable lead after 20 minutes of play.
Adam Keefe scored to make it 2-1 with only seven minutes remaining in the game.
With less than three minutes left, Aaron Clarke found Robert Dowd who fired home the game tying goal past Kowalski making it 2-2.
It looked like the Panthers and Giants were heading to overtime for the second straight night, but with just a few seconds left on the clock, defenceman Nick Kuiper blasted a shot past Kowalski for the game winner.
Coach Doug Christiansen said: "For 40 minutes, I would say we were dead out there and we couldn't get things going, but this team has shown too much hustle and heart all season long and they found a way to win.
"I am so proud of the job they did this weekend. To come out of these two games in Nottingham with four points is an incredible achievement and the guys have to be very pleased with the overall result from the weekend," he told the Giants website.
The result allowed the Sheffield Steelers to move above Nottingham in second place with a 5-3 win over the Coventry Blaze.
Sheffield are on 64 points, one more than Nottingham, and nine behind Belfast, although they have played six fewer games than the Giants.
The Cardiff Devils, fourth in the standings, enjoyed a 3-2 win over Edinburgh, while Hull beat struggling Dundee in a penalty shootout