Milton Keynes Lightning go into their first competitive game of the season still looking for a win after four pre-season challenge match loses.
The latest defeat came at the hands of big spending Telford Tigers on Wednesday when they went down 5-2 in an encounter which saw them reduced to three recognised defenceman as both Michael Farn and Ben Russell were missing from the line-up.
Lightning were unable to make anything of an early roughing penalty on Nathan Salem and slipped a goal behind while short-handed with Grant McPherson sitting out a four minute penalty - Dan Davis registering at 15min 56secs.
Tigers then had a goal washed out for the net being off its moorings before they made it 2-0 19 seconds from the first break through a Rick Plant assisted goal by Salem.
Joe Miller added to Lightning’s misery with goal number three after 24mins 27secs and the hosts took their tally to four after import Milan Kostourek was ejected from the game on a match penalty for spearing - the scorer being Sam Sajac after 32mins 26secs.
Within seconds Tigers added their fifth thanks to Max Birbraer, prompting a swift timeout by the visitors.
There was a minor recovery for Lightning in the final period as Adam Carr, assisted by Lewis Hook, pegged back the lead on 46mins 17secs.
Stan Lascek hit Lightning’s second on a delayed penalty after 58mins 25secs.
With the real competition beginning on Saturday when Lightning travel to the Isle of Wight Raiders in the English Challenge Cup the city outfit will be looking for a quick change in their fortunes.