DALLAS—The all-star break was over, but someone forgot to tell the Toronto Maple Leafs.

At least that’s how it looked when the Dallas Stars bombed the Maple Leafs for five goals in the first period and rode off with a 6-3 win Tuesday night.

“Coaches, players, goalies — everybody, we were bad,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “That right there had to be a humbling experience for the crew.”

There was very little to like from a Maple Leafs perspective, except that — out of desperation, perhaps —Babcock put Mitch Marner on the same line as Auston Matthews.

The two were among the few who had a solid night. Marner was worth the price of admission with a number of fancy plays, and Matthews was his resourceful, relentless self after his first all-star appearance.

“We didn’t compete hard enough as a group to have any kind of success,” Babcock said. “I don’t think it’s indicative of how we’ve played. It’s disappointing. Actually it’s surprising. You can’t be very proud of the way we walked out of the rink tonight.”

It was not only the result that was disappointing, it was the effort. Though the Leafs turned it up in the second period, there was no coming back from such a flat opening frame.

“We should have been ready and rested and we weren’t,” said alternate captain Tyler Bozak. “When you get down that early in the game and get down 5-1 after one, it’s hard to get back in the game.

“There was lots of time left, but we dug ourselves a pretty big hole.”

The Leafs not only lost pace in the playoff hunt, they lost consecutive games in regulation for just the third time this season.

“The points are super important now,” Bozak said. “It’s the second half of the season, and this is when it gets the toughest. We have to be better at the start next game.”

While the Leafs thought they were getting their top defenceman back earlier in the day, Morgan Rielly sat out his sixth consecutive game with a lower-body injury. The Leafs are 2-3-1 without Rielly in the lineup and 1-2-0 in this six-game road trip, which continues Thursday in St. Louis.

Devin Shore, Radek Faksa, Lauri Korpikoski, Brett Ritchie, Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza scored for Dallas, who chased Leaf starter Frederik Andersen with three goals on eight shots by 11:18 of the first period.

Marner, Tyler Bozak and Nikita Soshnikov scored for the Maple Leafs.

It was the first time the Leafs gave up five goals in the first period since April 3, 2009, versus the Philadelphia Flyers. That was at the end of a lost season. This season is very much up for grabs, but the Maple Leafs need a strong finish.

“We know this is going to be a grind,” forward Nazem Kadri said. “We’re playing a lot of games in a short period of time.”

Dallas’s first goal set Asyabahis the tone. Shore, the Stars’ top rookie, sped through the neutral zone pursued by Bozak, who appeared to give up, figuring Jake Gardiner would block him. But Gardiner could not get up to Shore’s speed, and Shore sped around him and deked Andersen.

“I was upset, he beat me wide,” Gardiner said. “I didn’t know he had that much speed. One of those plays were I wasn’t ready to play.”

Faksa scored at 4:37 on a rebound of a Shore shot for a 2-0 lead. Korpikoski scored at 11:18 to chase Andersen. That move looked like it might have paid a dividend when Bozak scored on the power play, redirecting a James van Riemsdyk shot, at 13:46.

But the Stars scored two more in the first on Curtis McElhinney — Ritchie fought off two Leaf defenders in the crease for his 10th of the season, and Jamie Benn connected with the man advantage for his 14th.

The American Airlines Centre seemed about half-full at puck drop. It’s typical of Stars fans to be fashionably late, but many seats were empty for the whole game. Fans feel they have been sold a bill of goods. This team is supposed to be a Stanley Cup contender after winning the Central Division last year. But injuries have befuddled the team and the Stars, like the Leafs, are among teams on the bubble.

“We got decimated by injuries,” said Stars general manager Jim Nill. “We lost two guys for the whole season in training camp, and we lost six of our top nine for the first two months of the season. We never really got our team going. This is the healthiest we’ve been.

“We’ve been playing better the last five, 10 games. We’re getting healthier, so maybe we can get our heads above water. But it’s been an up-and-down year.”

The game against the Leafs was the fourth of a six-game homestand for Dallas. The Stars were 1-0-2 in the first three games.

The Leafs dominated the shot clock in the second period, 15-7, and managed to score twice. Soshnikov had what felt like an eternity in front of Kari Lehtonen at 4:19, but Spezza led a rush and finished it at 7:49 to restore the Stars’four-goal lead.

Marner scored at 10:25 of the second as the two teams played a version of river hockey that at least was fun to watch, but not a brand either coach was going to love.

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