Trailing 5-4, the Barons appeared to gain momentum when they killed off a 5-on-3 Houston power play midway through the third period.
The Barons, though, failed to cash in on two ensuing power-play chances of their own. Houston removed any late-game drama when Justin Fontaine scored with 4:48 to play.
“We were not focused today,” said Magnus Paajarvi, who scored a goal and added an assist. “We did mistakes that we don't usually do, what we're known for not doing. It was a bad game, for sure.”
Houston scored the first two goals of the second period to take a 4-3 lead, but Barons second-line center Mark Arcobello scored his second goal of the game with 18 seconds left in the second period to tie it 4-4.
But the third period was more of the same. The Aeros applied pressure while the Barons were plagued by too many turnovers and too few shots.
“It was sloppy,” Eberle said. “We didn't execute passing the puck, getting it out of our own end. At the end of the day it (ticks) you off. We've got to move forward. We've got a game Sunday. We've got to get back to basics.”
The Barons have been hailed as an AHL dream because of several young Edmonton stars that are playing in Oklahoma City during the NHL lockout. But two weeks into the season the Barons are 3-3-0.
“We've got to step on the gas,” Paajarvi said. “We can't win one, lose one. We've got the kind of team to really build a streak. We've got a team that can compete for the championship. This is not OK. Winning one and losing one is not going to cut it.”