On December 27, 1988, the Capitals took on the Philadelphia Flyers at the Capital Centre. Just 12 days after absorbing a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Flyers in Philadelphia, the Capitals returned the favor, edging Philly by a 4-3 score.
Geoff Courtnall opened the scoring for the Caps, notching his 20th goal of the season at 12:19 of the first period. Three minutes later, Mike Ridley beat Ron Hextall to make it 2-0, Caps.
But the Flyers were about to unleash a flurry to end the first. Moe Mantha beat Caps netminder Pete Peeters at 17:58 to halve the Washington lead. Just seven seconds later, Ron Sutter took a feed from Tim Kerr, skated in and put another past Peeters to tie the score. Philadelphia grabbed the lead when Gord Murphy scored at the 19:24 mark. The Flyers had scored three times in a span of 1:26 to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 advantage.
The Caps battled back with determination in the second, outshooting the Flyers 16-6. Their tenacity paid off at the 15:30 mark when Bengt Gustafsson scored a shorthanded goal to tie the score.
The Caps went back on top at 3:37 of the third when Ridley scored his second goal of the game. Washington kept the Flyers off the board the rest of the way and held on to win, 4-3. After Philadelphia outshot the Capitals 15-9 in the first, Washington outgunned the Flyers 34-13 the rest of the way.