L.A. Kings defeat Blackhawks, 5-2

So much for momentum.

The Blackhawks, who kicked off their longest trip of the season with a hard-fought victory over the Ducks in Anaheim on Wednesday night, fell flat 24 hours later.

Game 2 of their eight-game trip didn't go quite as well as the first as the Hawks lost to the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 Thursday night before a crowd of 18,118 at the Staples Center.

"We got off to a good start on the road trip and you want more," defenseman Brian Campbell said. "It's tough to go down early in the first period. We have to skate better and compete. I don't think we did that in the first period."

The Kings raced to a 3-0 lead and never looked back as the Hawks fell for the third time in their last four games. Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick was strong in net with 31 saves to help lift the Kings.

Dustin Brown put the Kings on the board at 14 minutes 47 seconds of the first period with a power-play goal.

With the Hawks' James Wisniewski in the box for delay of game, Brown's backhander from between the circles beat goalie Cristobal Huet to make it 1-0.

Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead on Jarret Stoll's goal 1:45 later. Stoll took a Kyle Calder pass from behind the net and beat Huet from in close.

"They're playing well, give them credit," coach Joel Quenneville. "They worked hard tonight. We made a couple of mistakes. I liked the way we competed in the last part of the game but we had a pretty big hole."

The Hawks had an opportunity to gain some momentum when L.A.'s Jack Johnson was sent off for hooking, but it was the Kings who capitalized.

While short-handed, the Kings' Patrick O'Sullivan broke in on Huet on a two-on-one with teammate Alexander Frolov, and O'Sullivan blasted a shot from the right circle past Huet to take a 3-0 advantage in the second period.

Dave Bolland's ninth goal of the season at the 7:31 mark of the third ended Quick's shutout bid. Bolland fired a one-timer from the top of the right circle over Quick's left shoulder following a Brian Campbell pass to cut the deficit to 3-1.

The Kings regained their three-goal lead 37 seconds later when Frolov converted a pass from Wayne Simmonds to make it 4-1.

Probably the last 30 minutes of the game we played pretty hard and put some pressure on them," forward Craig Adams said. "We probably were unlucky to have more goals but we didn't put in 60 minutes."

Patrick Sharp's team-leading 22nd goal of the season for the Hawks at 11:32 made it 4-2. Sharp blasted a shot from inside the blue line following a Campbell feed. The Kings' Brown added an empty-net score in the final minute.

The Hawks had started the trip in fine fashion with a 3-2 victory over the Ducks, thanks in part to captain Jonathan Toews, who has his mind focused on putting the first half and All-Star break behind.

He has ratcheted up his intensity level in the dressing room and on the ice.

"I guess that's why the call me 'Mr. Serious,' " Toews said of the nickname his teammates have bestowed upon him. "You want to step up and score a big goal, but it's not going to happen every night as much as you try. It doesn't matter what situation you're in as a captain—you want to want help the team win games."

Toews & Co. will try to rebound Saturday night in San Jose against the Western Conference-leading Sharks.

One-timers: Winger Patrick Kane snapped his 12-game goal drought with his first-period power-play score against the Ducks on Wednesday night. "It's definitely nice to see one go in," Kane said. "I have to keep rolling with it and, hopefully, start a little streak the other way. You could see I started getting chances both ways. Hopefully, this gives me a little confidence and I'll be in the right spots." … Winger Kris Versteeg missed his second consecutive game Thursday night with an injury to his right pinky. Other scratches were winger Pascal Pelletier and defenseman Aaron Johnson.

ckuc@tribune.com

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