Marlies drop Pirates 3-1 at Air Canada Centre

Losing streak grows to three after stop in Toronto

The Portland Pirates got to play in a big-league building Saturday night, but it wasn't enough for the club to end its losing streak as the Toronto Marlies pinned a 3-1 defeat on the Florida Panthers' AHL affiliate at the Air Canada Centre in front of a crowd of 10,659.

The Pirates started off their current seven-game road trip with three straight wins, but have now dropped three in a row (0-2-1).

After a scoreless first period, Pirates defenseman Brent Regner (3) opened the scoring 1:25 into the middle frame. Chase Balisy and Rocco Grimaldi combined on the set up. Regner was playing in his second game after a short stint up with the parent club.

Toronto equalized at 14:47 on an even-strength goal from Frederik Gauthier. Gauthier's fourth was assisted by Tobias Lindberg and Andrew Campbell.

Brendan Leipsic scored with 3:24 left in the second to put the Marlies on top. Rinat Valiev drew the only assist on the goal that became the game-winner.

Leipsic notched his sixteenth of the season, from Brett Findlay and Connor Brown, to put the game away midway through the third period.

Sam Brittain took his second straight loss with Mike McKenna out of the lineup, finishing with 30 saves. Garret Sparks stopped 37 of 38 shots to post the win for Toronto.

Portland (29-20-2) will finish off the road trip Wednesday against the Hartford Wolf Pack.