TORONTO - The Toronto Marlies couldn't shake the fatigue of playing three days in a row.
Toronto rallied from an early three-goal deficit on Sunday but still lost to the Chicago Wolves 3-2 in American Hockey League action.
"We showed up a little too late," said Philippe Dupuis, who scored his 10th goal of the season in the third. "We should have had a better start and I think that's why we lost the game because we started a little too late."
The Wolves ran roughshod over the Marlies in the first as Bill Sweatt, Kevin Connauton and Michael Davies scored first-period goals to power Chicago (35-24-5) to a 3-0 first period lead. The Wolves were relatively well-rested, having played only two consecutive games.
Nicolas Deschamps and Dupuis replied for Toronto (36-22-7), but their rally fell short.
The Marlies went 1-for-6 with the man advantage while the Wolves were scoreless in seven opportunities.
Sweatt opened the scoring for Chicago, scoring his 13th goal of the season just 1:27 into the first, putting a rebound past Toronto goalie Ben Scrivens.
Connauton made it 2-0 with just under four minutes to play in the period. Mike Duco led a 2-on-1 rush and put a shot off the post, with the puck coming back to Connauton on the left point. He blasted a slapshot past Scrivens.
Davis rounded out the scoring 1:24 later, making a nice move past Toronto defender Korbinian Holzer before beating Scrivens with a quick shot from the slot.
"We made an individual mistake on the first goal off a turnover. On the second one our goalie was sleeping and the third one, Holzer let a guy get inside on him that just never happens," said Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins. "I thought we made three individual mistakes and found a way to fight back."
Scrivens gave way to Jussi Rynnas to start the second after stopping 8-of-11 shots.
"In the first period we were awful," said Rynnas. "I feel bad for Scrivens. He was pretty alone in the first period. After they changed me it was a much easier game."
Deschamps pulled Toronto to within 3-1 at 17:04 of the second with his 10th goal of the season. Dupuis made it 3-2 with a power-play goal just 42 seconds into the third, but that's as close as the Marlies could get.
With the victory the Wolves, leaders of the Midwest Division, now trail the Marlies by four points in the battle for second place in the Western Conference standings.