Center Johnny Pohl scored twice for Chicago (47-22-1-6), who lead the West Division by four points over the Texas Stars with four games remaining in the regular-season.
Houston (31-32-7-5) cracked the scoreboard first at 10:42 of the first period. Right wing Jean-Michel Daoust passed it to center Andy Hilbert in the slot, and he one-timed the shot over Wolves netminder Peter Mannino’s shoulder, glove-side.
The Aeros made their lead two, 2:22 later in the period. Right wing Duncan Milroy passed the puck off to center Chad Rau, who was skating towards the crease and Rau redirected the puck, pulled it to his backhand and slipped it in behind the back of Mannino.
Mannino (24-4-1) turned aside 26 of the 30 shots he faced in the losing effort.
With a power play expiring, center Johnny Pohl put the Wolves on board, 4:05 into the second period. Defenseman Arturs Kulda took a shot from the boards, which ricocheted off Pohl in the crease and past Houston goaltender Darcy Kuemper.
Defenseman Jamie Fraser put the Aeros up by two once again with a four-on-four tally at 7:47 of the middle stanza. Open in the slot, defenseman Ryan Gunderson sent a pass across the zone, and Fraser one-timed it past Mannino, top-shelf on the near post.
Pohl notched his second goal of the game to bring the Wolves within one with four minutes left in the second period. Defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy took a hard shot from the point, and Pohl picked up the rebound and backhanded the puck over Kuemper into an open net.
Kuemper (1-0-0) posted 23 saves in his first professional start.
Colton Gillies regained the two-goal lead for Houston 2:06 into the third period. Milroy shot the puck deep into their offensive zone and Mannino went to play the puck behind the net. The puck took a weird bounce and Milroy passed it out in front of the net where Gillies was there to slam it home into an open net.
Center Riley Holzapfel pulled the Wolves to within one with 19 seconds remaining in regulation. Right wing Joey Crabb took a shot from the goal line and Holzapfel picked up the rebound and wristed it home past a screened Kuemper.
The Wolves conclude their road trip when they take on the San Antonio Rampage at the AT&T Center tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
Chicago 0 2 1 -- 3
Houston 2 1 1 -- 4
First Period---1, Houston, Hilbert 6 (Daoust, Gunderson), 10:42; 2, Houston, Rau 17 (Milroy, Kalus), 13:04. Penalties---Filangieri, Chicago (hooking), 1:21; Sifers, Houston (interference), 14:47; Hunt, Chicago (interference), 15:40; Noreau, Houston (roughing), 16:36.
Second Period---3, Chicago, Pohl 17 (Kulda, Kozek), 4:05; 4, Houston, Fraser 6 (Gunderson, Hilbert), 7:47; 5, Chicago, Pohl 18 (Vishnevskiy), 16:01. Penalties---Kalus, Houston (slashing), 2:04; Weller, Chicago (interference), 6:11; Milroy, Houston (holding), 6:33; Machacek, Chicago (goaltender interference), 16:53.
Third Period---6, Houston, Gillies 7 (Milroy), 2:06; 7, Chicago, Holzapfel 7 (Crabb), 19:41. Penalties---Postma, Chicago (delay of game), 7:55; DiSalvatore, Houston (holding), 12:17; Sifers, Houston (high-sticking), 14:40; Doell, Chicago (hooking), 15:50.
Shots on goal---Chicago: 4-10-12--26. Houston: 13-9-8--30. Power plays---Chicago: 0-6. Houston: 0-6. Goalies--Chicago, Mannino (26-30). Houston, Kuemper (23-26). A---9,575. Referee---Ryan Fraser. Linesmen---Frank Prestigiovanni and Paul Wilkinson.