A disastrous opening ten minutes in Altrincham effectively put paid to any hopes Lightning had of their first four point weekend since early January.
Manchester Phoenix raced to a three goal lead by the ninth minute to stun the visitors who never really got back in the game.
Jaroslav Spelda put Ciaran Long through for the first goal after 2min 9secs before Lightning hit penalty trouble with Nick Poole called for hooking on 6mins 5secs.
It took just one second for Juraj Faith, at the back post, to take a pass from Slava Koulikov and plant the puck beyond goalie Barry Hollyhead.
Two became three when Tom Duggan scored from James Neil’s set up on 8mins 55secs – Lightning calling an immediate timeout. It did at least stop the flow of Manchester goals but failed to produce immediate dividends for Lightning.
It was not until 26mins 50secs that the travellers registered their first goal through a Michael Wales’ assisted goal from Grant McPherson – his third of the weekend.
By that stage Manchester had already added their fourth goal thanks to a Ladislav Harabin goal from Slava Koulikov only 1min 51secs into the second period.
Lightning stepped up the gas as the game went on but they were unable to cut the arrears until Tom Norton supplied Tuomas Tikkanen for the second goal on 53mins 32secs.
With 45 seconds remaining Hollyhead was pulled for the extra skater and in consequence Martin Cingel was able to score on the empty net at 59mins 30secs to make it 5-2.
2.09 Long, Spelda, Duggan E
6.05 Faith, Koulikov, Cingel PP
8.55 Duggan, Neil, Archer E
21.31 Harrabin, Koulikov
59.30 Cingel, Boothroyd ENG
26.50 McPherson, Wales E
53.32 Tikkanen, Norton, Carr E
10.04 Spelda, 2 mins, hooking
12.55 Duggan, 2 mins, tripping
23.59 Harrabin, 2 mind,cross checking
34.20 Archer, 2 mins, tripping
57.53 Faith, 2 mind, interference
5.57 Poole, 2 mins, hooking
23.59 Christie, 2 mins, cross checking
32.18 Wales, 2 mins, roughing
34.07 Green, 2 mins, boarding
50.25 Wales, 2 mind, interference
Shots on Goal
Manchester – Fone – 7, 9, 15 = 31
MKL – Hollyhead – 21, 15, 8 = 44
Referee – Matt Thompson
Linesmen – Kriss Wells, Sam Campbell