Kings Snap Out of It With 4-3 Win : Dionne Scores Two Goals as Losing Streak at Home Ends

Times Staff Writer

Marcel Dionne was smiling when he walked out of the locker room after scoring two goals to lead the Kings to a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night before 7,893 fans at the Forum.

"I haven't been that way too many times this year," he said, referring to his good mood.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Kings, ended a five-game winless streak at the Forum and marked the first time they have won a home game since Nov. 16.

"It was way overdue," King Coach Pat Quinn said. "It wasn't pretty, but at least, we won."

Dionne, moved to right wing from center, played on a line with left wing Morris Lukowich and center Len Hachborn. Dionne scored a second-period goal to give the Kings a 2-1 lead and then scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal at 7:24 of the third period. Defensemen Grant Ledyard and Jay Wells got assists on the play.

Asked about the move to right wing, Dionne said: "On our team, if you're a winger, you get the puck more for some reason."

It was the third time this season that Dionne has scored twice in one game. "He can win games for you," Quinn said. "The jump is back in his legs."

Dionne said: "I hope it's a start. It's just one game, but the team needed it. We've been struggling.

"I'm still not feeling as well as I'd like to. But tonight, I had a lot of good chances and I made good on two of them." He just missed getting his third goal on a breakaway with 2 minutes 30 seconds left in the game.

Trailing, 4-2, after Dionne's second goal, the Maple Leafs pulled goalie Ken Wreggett for an extra skater in the final minute, and the move paid off when right wing Marian Stastny scored with six seconds left to cut the margin to one goal.

But the Kings held on to win their third home game this season. They have a home record of 3-11-2 and an overall mark of 8-19-4. Toronto, which had a three-game unbeaten streak snapped, fell to 8-18-5.

With the victory, the Kings no longer share the worst record in the National Hockey League with the Detroit Red Wings. They are now one point ahead of the Red Wings.

"Encouraging, isn't it?" General Manager Rogie Vachon said.

Center Bernie Nicholls scored one goal and had one assist. He broke a 2-2 tie when he scored at 16:41 of the second period. Right wing Bryan Erickson also scored for the Kings.

Left wing Gary Leeman and right wing Miroslav Frycer also scored for the Maple Leafs.

King goalie Bob Janecyk played well, making 32 saves as Toronto outshot the Kings, 35-34. It was Janecyk's first win since Nov. 16.

Janecyk was especially sharp in the first period, making nine saves as the Maple Leafs blew several scoring opportunities.

"I thought we should have won that one in the first five minutes; we had enough chances," Toronto Coach Dan Maloney said. "But Janecyk played a good, strong game. He made the big stops when it counted."

There was an altercation between King left wing Dave (Tiger) Williams and Wreggett with 15:16 left in the third period. The incident started when Wreggett slashed Williams, who then pinned Wreggett against the net. Maple Leaf defenseman Al Iafrate retaliated and received a game misconduct, while Williams and Wreggett each received two minor penalties.

"I took a swack at him, and he suckered me," Wreggett said. "I gave him a backhand across the ankles. I couldn't see what happened because everyone was on top of me."

Both benches emptied at the end of the game, but no punches were thrown.

"As far as I'm concerned, nothing happened," Williams said.

King Notes The Kings announced before the game that they have acquired left wing Joe Paterson from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for future considerations. Paterson, 25, was drafted in the fourth round in 1979 by the Detroit Red Wings. He was traded to Philadelphia at the start of last season along with Murray Craven for Darryl Sittler. Paterson has played in 126 NHL games, scoring 6 goals and 11 assists. Paterson was with the Flyers' minor league team in Hershey, Pa. He will join the Kings for Friday night's game at Edmonton. . . . The Kings will return home Saturday night to play host to the Vancouver Canucks. . . . They'll play the Red Army team next Thursday night at the Forum.

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