On April 12, 1987, the Washington Capitals defeated the New York Islanders on Long Island by a 4-1 score in Game 4 of the opening round playoff series between the two teams.
New York's Brad Lauer opened the scoring with a power play goal at 10:25 of the first frame. Washington's Larry Murphy answered just 43 second later with his third of the playoffs to pull the Caps even. With two goals in the final two minutes of the first period, the Caps pulled out to a 3-1 lead. Dave Christian scored his first pf the playoffs with 1:34 remaining on the clock and Mike Gartner scored his second with only 13 second left. The Caps outshot the Isles by 18-10 in the first period.
Gartner beat New York's Kelly Hrudey at 15:57 of the second for his second of the game and third of the playoffs. The Caps outshot New York 11-10 in the second.
The two teams played a scoreless third. Washington had eight shots on goal for a total of 37. The Isles managed six against the Caps' Bob Mason for a total of 26. The two clubs combined for 85 minutes in penalties and Washington was 0-for-10 on the power play.
The victory gave the Caps a 3-1 lead in the series but New York would go on to win there straight games to take the set. Game 7 went into a fourth overtime before the Islanders' Pat Lafontaine beat Mason with the game-winner.