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Dionne Ties Esposito; Kings Defeat Capitals, 5-2

March 19, 1986|Associated Press

LANDOVER, Md. — Marcel Dionne, who tied Phil Esposito for second place on the NHL's all-time scoring list Tuesday night, said the sweetest part of the achievement was that it came in a victory.

"The victory was more important. I'm not concerned about myself," Dionne said after he assisted on Dave Taylor's goal 5:28 into the contest, moving him into a tie with Esposito at 1,590 points. He also took over the No. 2 spot in assists at 927, snapping a tie with Stan Mikita in the Kings' 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Dionne, 34, is in his 15th NHL season, the last 11 with the Kings. He said he expects to play again next season for Los Angeles, which is three points in front of Vancouver in the battle for the final playoff spot in the Smythe Division.

John Paul Kelly scored two goals for the Kings. Kelly had only two goals in 52 previous games. But he doubled that as the Kings prevented the Capitals from taking over first place in the Patrick Division. The Capitals, who had won nine of 10 previous games and had a club-record, eight consecutive victories at home, remained one point behind the division-leading Philadelphia Flyers.

"The defense kept moving the puck up, and I had a little luck," Kelly said. He added about his previous lack of offense: "I haven't been getting much ice time."

The Kings, 1-8-1 in 10 previous games, took a 3-0 lead during a five-minute span of the first period on goals by Taylor, Kelly and Bryan Erickson. Washington averted further trouble by killing off a two-man disadvantage late in the period.

Dave Christian's 36th goal pulled Washington within 3-1 at 13:47 of the second period, but Garry Galley scored for the Kings 53 seconds later, and Kelly made it 5-1 at 17:55.

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