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Blackhawks lose early lead, game
After spending a couple of days enjoying the mild temperatures with golf and paintball, the Blackhawks were back at work Saturday night, trying to improve on what had been a successful road trip.
The Hawks will need a win Sunday in Anaheim, however, to finish with a winning trip after falling 3-2 to the Kings and dropping to 2-2 on the five-game trip.
The Hawks watched a 2-1 lead disappear in the last 11 minutes of the second period when goals by Pavol Demitra and Luc Robitaille, the 658th of his Hall of Fame career, put the Kings ahead 3-2.
There was a scary moment midway through the first period when the Hawks' Jim Vandermeer and the Kings' Ryan Flinn tangled.
Vandermeer caught Flinn with a solid right hand, and the two fell to the ice. Flinn's helmet came off. He hit his head on the ice and appeared to be knocked out.
The game was delayed nearly 10 minutes as Flinn was taken off the ice by stretcher and to Los Angeles County Hospital, where he was reported to be talking coherently.
As has been the case for the last couple of weeks, the Hawks' line of Mark Bell, Kyle Calder and Rene Bourque provided the scoring.
Bell scored his seventh goal in the last five games at 16:47 of the first period on a power play. He took a pass from Tyler Arnason and ripped a shot over the right shoulder of Kings goaltender Mathieu Garon. The assist was just Arnason's second point in his last nine games.
Bell's goal tied the game 1-1 and came 1:02 after Alexander Frolov had scored on a short-handed breakaway on the same power play. The short-handed goal was the fifth allowed by the Hawks this season, second most in the NHL but their first since the 9-1 loss Nov. 4 at Dallas.
The Hawks took the lead 20 seconds into the second period. Giron couldn't control a shot from Bourque from the high slot, and Calder jumped on the rebound for his first goal in eight games.
The three have combined for 10 goals, 14 assists and 24 points in their last five games.
Pavel Vorobiev was scratched for the third straight game with a bruised ankle. The Hawks have missed 55 man-games with injuries this season. . . . Hawks general manager Dale Tallon said Andy Hilbert might not join the Hawks this week as had been planned. Hilbert has been bothered by a groin injury and hasn't played enough in Norfolk. The Hawks still have to sign Hilbert by Thursday to have him eligible to play this season. . . . Wednesday night's game against Los Angeles will be the Hawks' last against a Western Conference opponent for nearly three weeks. After playing their first 24 games against the West, the Hawks will play five straight against Eastern Conference teams beginning Friday night at Tampa Bay.