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Hawks' power play clicks after long trip
After watching their power play cost them games and a possible playoff spot, the Blackhawks did something about it.
The Hawks scored all three of their goals on the power play Wednesday night in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings that wasn't as close as the final score.
Kyle Calder had a pair of goals and Matt Ellison one as the Hawks went 3 of 7 with the man advantage in their first home game since Nov. 13.
It was the third time this season the Hawks had three power-play goals in a game, the last time coming Nov. 2 in St. Louis. Since then the Hawks had been 5 of 47 on the power play, converting just 10.6 percent during that stretch.
"We recovered pucks," center Mark Bell said. "That's everything on the power play.
"We moved the puck around great tonight."
Both of Calder's goals came by banging in reboundsthe first off a shot from Martin Lapointe at the 18-minute mark of the first period and the second from a Bell shot at 9:34 of the second.
Those goals were sandwiched around Ellison's, which came from a perfect feed from Tyler Arnason, who had his best gameespecially on the power play, where he played 5 minutes 16 seconds of his 13:11.
Ellison's goal, 54 seconds after Calder's opening goal in the first period, came on a carbon-copy play from earlier in the period.
Ellison was alone to the right of Kings goaltender Mathieu Garon with a wide-open net but fanned on Arnason's pass. Ellison was able to convert the second time around.
"Arnie has great vision, and I found the open seam," Ellison said.
Ellison had about a half-dozen prime scoring chances on a night in which he either fanned or was denied by Garon.
"At least one went in," he said.
Hawks coach Trent Yawney said they "tweaked some things" on the power play the last couple of days and gave most of the credit to assistant coaches Denis Savard and Bruce Cassidy.
The Hawks had a 3-0 lead thanks to the power play and another stellar performance from Nikolai Khabibulin.
The goaltender was six minutes from his first shutout as a Hawk when Eric Belanger put the Kings on the board.
Pavol Demitra scored with 1.5 seconds left for the final margin.
Until then Khabibulin was solid, stopping Alexander Frolov in the first period after Frolov undressed Brent Seabrook and walked in alone.
He also turned aside back-to-back prime chances from Craig Conroy while the Kings were on a four-minute power play.
The Kings certainly know what the Hawks are going through on the power play.
Los Angeles came into the game 21st in the league at 15.3 percent and went just 1 of 8 Wednesday, with Belanger's goal keeping the Hawks from a clean sheet short-handed.