On February 1, 1997 Washington beat the Florida Panthers by a 3-1 score in Miami.
After a scoreless first period, Washington's Michal Pivonka drew first blood at 1:02 of the second period. Pivonka's goal-his fourth of the season-came on a feed from linemate Peter Bondra. Just 39 seconds after the goal, Bondra was meted with a five-minute major for kneeing the Panthers' Ray Sheppard. (Bondra was later suspended for one game by the NHL for the infraction.)
At the 7:57 mark of the middle frame, Washington rookie Anson Carter scored his first NHL goal. Carter's tally-exactly one month before he was traded to Boston in a six-player deal that sent Adam Oates to the Caps-proved to be the game-winner.
Bondra scored his 32nd of the year early in the third to give the Caps a commanding 3-0 lead. Florida's David Lowery spoiled the shutout on a power play midway through the third. Caps goalie stopped 20 of 21 shots to record the win.
Carter was a plus-three for the game, as was Washington defenseman Sylvain Cote. Cote was credited with eight of the Capitals' 27 shots on goal for the game.