Blaz Emersic spared Lightning the agony of their first shut out of the season with 13.8secs to spare as his team slumped to a 4-1 defeat at home to Manchester Phoenix.
Lightning started well but were made to pay for failing to convert a couple of great early chances.
First Juraj Gracik was unable to beat goalie Stephen Fone when put clear on the net in the 10th minute.
Shortly after Gracik, on the right, made a great cross for Blaz Emersic who was just thwarted by Fone.
Those misses proved crucial with Phoenix's former Elite League star Martin Cingel scoring twice in three minutes.
The first goal came after 12mins 47secs when he was given too much space to shoot from distance.
The Slovak then made it 2-0 to the visitors on 15mins 32secs with a pile driver that goalie Alex Mettam just could not handle.
Lightning fell further behind on 26mins 30secs when they failed to close down Slava Koulikov who took Luke Boothroyd's pass and sent it beyond Mettam.
The hosts stepped up the pace thereafter but it increasingly looked like it was not going to be their night with shot after shot either failing to hit the target or being blocked by Fone.
Things did not improve much in the third period with Lightning running out of ideas to break down the Manchester defence.
For their part Phoenix looked content to sit on their lead, only rarely venturing forward.
What appeared to be the final nail in the coffin came when Cingel completed his hat-trick with 1min 29secs remaining.
However there was at last a moment of joy for home fans as Emersic finally got the puck in with 13.8secs remaining.
59.46 Emersic, Poole, McPherson
12.47 Cingel, Koulikov E
15.31 Cingel,Faith, Harabin E
26.30 Koulikov, Boothroyd E
58.31 Cingel, Archer, Neil
0.54 Jamieson, 2 mins, slashing
23.58 Jamieson, 2 mins, roughing
42.24 Bowers, 2 mins, roughing
3.35 Spalda, 2 mins, delaying the game
49.19 Wood, 2 mins, cross checking
55.12 Spelda, 2 mins, roughing
Shots of Goal
MKL – Mettam – 10, 7, 7 = 24
Manchester – Fone – 7, 5, 9 = 21
Referee - Dan Boardman
Linesmen – Tim Pickett, Nathan Carmichael