TORONTO -- If the Toronto Marlies are looking for reasons why they lost Sunday, they can start with a faulty power play.
Toronto failed to convert once on seven power plays, including a 5-on-3 man advantage in the first period, and went on to lose 3-2 to the visiting Texas Stars in American Hockey League action.
"We just weren't clicking on the power play and we got frustrated," said Toronto assistant coach Derek King. "We almost scored on the 5-on-3, which would've given us a 2-0 lead, but we didn't and we got frustrated. Guys started trying to do things on their own and that never works.
"The power play just wasn't very good tonight."
Alex Chiasson, Justin Dowling and Mike Hedden scored for Texas as the league-leading Stars halted a two-game mini-skid and improved to 28-13-7.
"That team works hard," King said. "You can see why they're No. 1 in the league. They're a good-skating team and they keep coming at you."
Chiasson had two assists for a three-point game, while Hedden chipped in with a helper for a two-point effort.
Ryan Hamilton, with his team-leading 20th goal of the season, and Greg McKegg replied for the Marlies in front of 4,556 fans at Ricoh Coliseum. Spencer Abbott collected two assists as Toronto fell to 25-16-4 on the season.
The Marlies have lost five of their past seven outings.
"We lost by a goal to the best team in the league," King said. "It shows you that with a little more effort, or we score on the power play, or we make a couple more saves ... and we can beat the best team in the league. We've got the guys to play with anybody."
Texas netminder Cristopher Nilstorp made 23 saves, while Toronto goalie Mark Owuya stopped 30-of-33 shots.
"I wish he could've stopped all three (goals), but I thought Owuya played really well," King said. "He had a good performance, and it's hard when you're the backup and not playing often."
The game was tied 1-1 after the first period and the Stars led 2-1 through 40 minutes.
The Marlies opened the scoring at 1:18 of the first period when Abbott forced a turnover in the offensive zone and passed the puck to Hamilton, who wired a wrist shot from the slot over Nilstorp's blocker. Chiasson tied the game when he whacked a rebound past Owuya at 15:51 of the first.
Dowling gave Texas the lead late in the second period when he rushed down the right wing and lifted a backhander over Owuya's right shoulder at 17:42.
Hedden spotted the Stars a two-goal advantage early in the third period when he redirected Jordie Benn's point shot past Owuya at 1:08. McKegg pulled Toronto within one when he scored on a goalmouth scramble at 9:02.
The Marlies visit the Hamilton Bulldogs on Tuesday while the Stars host the Houston Aeros.