Highlights - Sheffield Steelers 11 Edinburgh Capitals 2: Steelers hit cruise control to expose frailty of ailing Capitals

Sheffield Steelers' players celebrate scoring during their 11-2 win over Edinburgh Capitals. 'Picture: Dean Woolley'.
Sheffield Steelers' players celebrate scoring during their 11-2 win over Edinburgh Capitals. 'Picture: Dean Woolley'.
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If this had been a boxing match, it would probably have been called off halfway through the first period.

Barely 10 minutes had gone by before Sheffield Steelers found themselves 5-0 up against a ragged Edinburgh Capitals side, rooted to the bottom of the Elite League standings with just five wins to their name all season.

The last time the Capitals were at Sheffield Arena they had only 13 skaters who put up a spirited performance before eventually coming off second-best after four goals in the last two minutes gave Steelers a slightly flattering 7-2 victory.

Their latest visit saw them play two extra out-skaters, but the flurry of import players departing in the first two months of the year has left an already struggling team hopelessly cut adrift from their counterparts, bereft of confidence. It can only be hoped that a major rebuilding job takes place in the Scottish capital during the off-season.

As for the Steelers, they head into a tricky trip to regular season runners-up Manchester Storm on Sunday night knowing they need to win to guarantee third spot overall heading into the play-offs.

They leapfrogged both Belfast Giants and Fife Flyers after they both lost - the former thumped 8-1 by champions Cardiff Devils - but have arch-rivals Nottingham Panthers breathing down their necks on the same points after Corey Neilson’s side got the better of Dundee Stars.

The Panthers visit Edinburgh on Sunday night where you can only assume they will pick up two points against a side they beat 12-1 less than two weeks ago, adding pressure on the Steelers to get a positive result at Altrincham. Fife and Belfast are a point further back.

After an emotional big screen video tribute to Steelers’ fans who had passed away during the past 12 months saw the crowd stage an impeccable minute’s applause, there was little time for them to take their seats before the goals started flying in, the hosts 2-0 up inside the first 60 seconds through Robert Dowd and Eric Neiley.

Ben O’Connor added a third with a blaster from the left side before Andreas Valdix tipped in a Scott Aarssen shot and Neiley added his second to leave the home side crusing to victory inside 10 minutes and with the large crowd gathered for last home game of the regular season fearing how bad it could get for the Capitals.

Steelers added a sixth through Miika Franssila from in front 22.46 but the Capitals hit back with two quick strikes from Sergei Banashkov and Denis Trakhanov, ending Brad Day’s hopes of a shutout in the Steelers net.

Sheffield Steelers' Liam Kirk' in action against Edinburgh on Saturday night. Picture: Dean Woolley.

Sheffield Steelers' Liam Kirk' in action against Edinburgh on Saturday night. Picture: Dean Woolley.

Normal service was soon resumed when young Liam Kirk showed the kind of skill and pace that had two NHL scouts watching him again to burst clear and set up fellow teenager Cole Shudra to tap home from a tight angle at 26.58.

O’Connor then grabbed a second when shooting through a crowd followed by Neiley completed his hat-trick by tipping in near the post.

Dowd added his second from close in at 46.32 before Levi Nelson completed the rout from a similar range 28 seconds later.