The Blackhawks started their annual circus trip like they were shot out of a cannon, but they ended it with a dud.
Playing their final game of a six-game road swing, the Hawks allowed the Los Angeles Kings to rally past them for a 5-2 victory in front of a crowd of 16,147 Saturday at the Staples Center.
The loss dropped the Hawks to 3-2-1 on the road trip, 4-5-2 away from home and 10-6-6 overall. After starting the trip with three consecutive victories, the Hawks finished with three defeats, although one came in overtime. They accumulated seven of a possible 12 points and head back to Chicago on a losing skid.
The Hawks held a 2-1 second-period lead on goals from Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane in the opening period. But the Kings reeled off four straight goals, three of them in the third, to claim the victory.
"I thought we had perfect control of the game and gave it to them when we didn't advance it," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We're not happy with this ending. That was the worst we've been. We have to be better than that."
After the Kings took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Jarret Stoll only 1 minute 18 seconds into the game, the Hawks struck twice to lead 2-1 after one period.
Midway through the period Brent Seabrook carried the puck over the line, skated toward the Los Angeles net and sent a cross-ice pass to Sharp, who fired a shot from the left circle past the stick of Kings goaltender Erik Ersberg. The goal was Sharp's 13th of the season and snapped a two-game scoreless streak.
"We started poorly in the first 10 minutes but finished strong in the first and had the game in our hands," Sharp said. "Around the halfway point, we let them off the hook, [and] we didn't really have our best effort in the third. It's disappointing toward the end of the trip. We can make all the excuses we want, but the bottom line is we lost the game."
Sharp had a hand in the Hawks' second goal when he found Kane open at the right dot and sent a pass that Kane one-timed past Ersberg for his 12th of the season.
The Kings tied it 2-2 on Alexander Frolov's goal with just over a minute remaining in the period. Derek Armstrong's goal early in the third gave the Kings a 3-2 lead. Former Hawk Kyle Calder scored a power-play goal later in the third, and Patrick O'Sullivan finished off the scoring with an empty-net goal.
"Guys felt good [Saturday], and it's just that I don't think the battles were there, and then we started turning the puck over, trying to play guys one on one," Hawks defenseman Brian Campbell said. "When we do that, the more times that happens the more chances they get, and they're bound to get something."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times