Tim Kerr, the Philadelphia right winger who scored his team's first four goals in last night's 5-4 victory over Washington, thought the game at Capital Centre important for at least two reasons. One involved the team; one was personal.

Coming into the game, Kerr, the Flyers' leading scorer, had been held without a goal in six games and Philadelphia had gone 1-4-1.

As he sat at his locker after the game, Kerr first addressed what the victory meant to the team: "It was a four-point game tonight. Now we're nine points behind with three games in hand. We have a six-game home stand and they (the Capitals) go on the road. They've had a run and now maybe we can put one together."

Kerr thought his personal performance represented a turning point. Last night's feat was his third four-goal game of the year, and brought his season total to 43, with 29 assists, but he had not scored any goals since Jan. 19, against Minnesota.

Kerr got his first goal when the puck hit the boards behind the goal and Pat Riggin, roving, was caught behind the cage. The puck caromed out onto Kerr's stick and the 25-year-old Wales Conference all-star had a goal he didn't have to work very hard for.

"You need something like that when you're in a slump," he said. "It was one of those things that bounced right up there."

When Kerr was next on the bench, he turned to assistant coach Ted Sator and said, "I'm out of my slump."

Three other times, Kerr showed why he is emerging as one of the league's top right wingers, along with New York Islander Mike Bossy and the Capitals' Mike Gartner in his division. Kerr scored his second and fourth goals on power plays, giving him a league-leading 18 extra-man goals for the season, within 10 of equaling the single-season NHL record held by Phil Esposito (1972) and Bossy (1981). Kerr, who is 6 feet 3 and 225 pounds, also stands within reach of the Flyers' single-season record of 61 goals, set by Reggie Leach in 1975-76.

Notably, Kerr broke out of his slump on an evening when he was paired with a new linemate. Instead of high-scoring Brian Propp, who made the winning goal, Murray Craven played left wing on Kerr's line. Dave Poulin centered the line.

"We were having problems scoring goals," said Craven, who assisted on Kerr's first and third scores. "Tonight it happened that our line scored the goals.

"He's been held off the scoreboard four or five games. A player like that -- nothing was going to hold him back tonight . . . He's Tim Kerr; he's big and strong, and he's going to get those goals."

Kerr said of his new line combination: "I'm sure they'll keep us together tomorrow night (Sunday in Philadelphia against the New York Rangers)." Kerr Gets Break, Shatters Slump In a Big Way By Robert Lohrer Special to The Washington Post

Tim Kerr, the Philadelphia right winger who scored his team's first four goals in last night's 5-4 victory over Washington, thought the game at Capital Centre important for at least two reasons. One involved the team; one was personal.

Coming into the game, Kerr, the Flyers' leading scorer, had been held without a goal in six games and Philadelphia had gone 1-4-1.

As he sat at his locker after the game, Kerr first addressed what the victory meant to the team: "It was a four-point game tonight. Now we're nine points behind with three games in hand. We have a six-game home stand and they (the Capitals) go on the road. They've had a run and now maybe we can put one together."

Kerr thought his personal performance represented a turning point. Last night's feat was his third four-goal game of the year, and brought his season total to 43, with 29 assists, but he had not scored any goals since Jan. 19, against Minnesota.

Kerr got his first goal when the puck hit the boards behind the goal and Pat Riggin, roving, was caught behind the cage. The puck caromed out onto Kerr's stick and the 25-year-old Wales Conference all-star had a goal he didn't have to work very hard for.

"You need something like that when you're in a slump," he said. "It was one of those things that bounced right up there."

When Kerr was next on the bench, he turned to assistant coach Ted Sator and said, "I'm out of my slump."

Three other times, Kerr showed why he is emerging as one of the league's top right wingers, along with New York Islander Mike Bossy and the Capitals' Mike Gartner in his division. Kerr scored his second and fourth goals on power plays, giving him a league-leading 18 extra-man goals for the season, within 10 of equaling the single-season NHL record held by Phil Esposito (1972) and Bossy (1981). Kerr, who is 6 feet 3 and 225 pounds, also stands within reach of the Flyers' single-season record of 61 goals, set by Reggie Leach in 1975-76.

Notably, Kerr broke out of his slump on an evening when he was paired with a new linemate. Instead of high-scoring Brian Propp, who made the winning goal, Murray Craven played left wing on Kerr's line. Dave Poulin centered the line.

"We were having problems scoring goals," said Craven, who assisted on Kerr's first and third scores. "Tonight it happened that our line scored the goals.

"He's been held off the scoreboard four or five games. A player like that -- nothing was going to hold him back tonight . . . He's Tim Kerr; he's big and strong, and he's going to get those goals."

Kerr said of his new line combination: "I'm sure they'll keep us together tomorrow night (Sunday in Philadelphia against the New York Rangers)."