On April 1, 1980, the Capitals thumped the Pittsburgh Penguins by a 6-2 score in front of 15,821 fans at the Capital Centre.
Bengt Gustafsson started the scoring parade at 8:31 of the first period when he beat Pittsburgh’s Greg Millen. It was the 22nd goal of the season for Gustafsson, who was winding down his rookie season. The Capitals outshot the Penguins 14-4 in the first period but Gustafsson was the only player to light the lamp.
Paul Mulvey scored his 15th of the year for Washington at 1:02 of the second. Pittsburgh’s Dale Tallon answered at 2:39 on a Penguin power play to halve the Capitals’ lead. Rolf Edberg scored his 22nd for the Caps at 10:23 to restore the two-goal margin. Each team had nine shots on goal in the second period.
At 10:08 of the third period, Pittsburgh was whistled for two minor penalties at a time when they already had a man in the box serving a minor. Gary McAdam (roughing) was joined in the sin bin by Ron Stackhouse (slashing) and Rod Schutt (unsportsmanlike conduct). Washington took advantage of the resulting five-on-three advantage at 11:06 when Ryan Walter scored his 23rd of the season to make it 4-1. Just 23 seconds later with the Caps still up two men, Mike Gartner made it 5-1 with his 36th of the season. At 12:17, Pittsburgh still had a man in the box and Washington scored its third power play goal in a span of 1:11 to make it a 6-1 rout. Alan Hangsleben scored his ninth of the season, becoming the sixth different Capital to score. Pittsburgh’s Rick Kehoe added a meaningless power play goal at 17:34 to close out the scoring. The Capitals outshot Pittsburgh 16-8 for the period and 39-21 on the night.