Bruce rues Elmohamady error
In a Premier League match that failed to yield much in terms of goalmouth action at the Britannia Stadium, it was Hull manager Bruce who arguably should have seen his side leading at the break when Liam Rosenior wasted a gilt-edge chance with a free header that he put over the crossbar from eight yards.
Nikica Jelavic also side-footed wide after Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic had made a fine stop to keep out David Meyler's deflected effort.
Hull were then duly punished for their profligacy shortly after the hour-mark, when Elmohamady's attempted cross-field pass was under hit and picked up by Peter Odemwingie, who drove forward and drilled a left-foot effort into the bottom corner.
It proved to be the second time in as many matches an error has cost Hull, after James Chester's own-goal gifted West Ham a 2-1 win at Upton Park on Wednesday.
And Bruce rued the fact that the defeats had been decided by factors outside of his control.
"The one thing a manager or coach can't eradicate is a mistake," he said. "Unfortunately Elmo's (Elmohamady) made a horrible one today which he regrets and it's cost us the game.
"That's a couple of games (now) though, an own goal in midweek and one (mistake) today. We've prided ourselves on being difficult to play against and difficult to beat and that's got us to the situation we're in at the moment.
"But unfortunately (if) you make mistakes at this level (you get punished). You might get away with it in the Championship, where we were last year.
"Odemwingie's still got a bit to do it's a great finish, but we've gifted them something when they never looked like breaking us down and causing us a problem and we have arguably had the best two chances of the game in Rosenior's header and Jelavic after Meyler's shot but unfortunately it wasn't to be."
Hull remain seven points clear of the drop zone despite the setback, but Bruce is refusing to rest on his laurels until safety is guaranteed.
He added: "Until you're mathematically safe, until you get to that magic points total everybody is still edgy. We've got ourselves into a wonderful position and I still think a couple of wins and a draw will be enough.
"But we've seen some crazy results today, you never quite know."