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Kings hand Blackhawks 5-4 loss

Kings hand Blackhawks 5-4 loss

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LOS ANGELES - Defenseman Joe Corvo pulled the Los Angeles Kings out of their longest losing streak of the season.

Corvo scored on a power play 40 seconds into overtime and the Kings snapped a seven-game skid with a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Corvo, Craig Conroy and Tom Kostopoulos each had a goal and an assist. Pavol Demitra scored a short-handed goal and Eric Belanger extended his goal-scoring streak to three games, helping Los Angeles win for only the fourth time in their last 16 games.

"It was absolutely necessary to win this game," Corvo said. "I mean, I've been moping around and the team's been moping around. It just seems like everything was going wrong. So we just had to have this one. I'm sure a lot of guys on the bench had an idea on the bench like, 'Here we go again.' But I don't think we were going to be denied this one."

Martin Lapointe scored the tying goal midway through the third period and Rene Bourque also scored for Chicago. Tyler Arnason and defenseman Brent Seabrook had power-play goals for the Blackhawks, who came in with the league's worst power-play percentage and were 3-for-40 with the man advantage their previous nine games.

The Kings, struggling to hang on to the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot, blew a 4-2 lead in the third period as Arnason and Lapointe each scored their 13th goal of the season. Lapointe got the equalizer on a 30-foot wrist shot from the right circle that beat a screened Jason LaBarbera between the pads with 10:22 left in regulation.

Kings coach Andy Murray replaced LaBarbera with Mathieu Garon, who faced only two shots the rest of the way.

"It's not normal that you change your goalie with 10 minutes to go in the game, but you're trying to do whatever you can to win and you do what you think is right," Murray said.

Corvo pulled out the victory with his 13th goal and third game-winner - a 25-foot slap shot that beat Craig Anderson high to the glove side while Matthew Barnaby was serving a delay-of-game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass.

"I was pretty confident that Pavol was going to get it through to me," Corvo said. "As it was coming to me, for some reason, that's where I knew I was going to shoot from. I picked my head up right before I shot and put it right over his shoulder."

Anderson, obviously upset over the power-play goal and the penalty that led to it, received a 10-minute misconduct for displaying his anger with referees Bill McCreary and Chris Lee.

"I didn't throw the puck hard at all," Barnaby said. "I was just trying to flip it out of the zone. I saw there was no defense there and I was just praying for the puck to stay in."

Demitra opened the scoring at 8:44 of the first period with his team-high 21st goal, while teammate Sean Avery was off for hooking Jim Dowd. Seabrook tied it just 19 seconds later with his fifth goal, a 40-foot slap shot that broke off LaBarbera's pads with 29 seconds still remaining on Avery's penalty.

The Kings regained the lead 2½ minutes before the first intermission. Avery carried the puck down the left boards and made a flip pass toward the net, where Kostopoulos redirected it in midair past Anderson's glove. The goal was upheld by the video judge, who ruled that Kostopoulos' stick was below the crossbar when he made contact.

Conroy made it 3-1 at 1:09 of the second with his 19th goal, tipping in Corvo's one-timer from the top of the left circle while Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith was off for hooking Demitra.

The Blackhawks responded less than 2½ minutes later with Bourque's 10th goal, but Belanger restored the Kings' two-goal margin at 17:29 of the second period with his 14th of the season.


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