On February 22, 1981, the Capitals scored seven goals and still lost in an 11-7 defeat at the hands of the Quebec Nordiques. A crowd of 10,346 witnessed the goal-scoring spree at the Capital Centre in Landover.
Quebec's Peter Stastny started what would be a big night for him by scoring to give the Nords a 1-0 lead at 5:45 of the first. Brother Anton Stastny and Michel Goulet picked up the assists. Washington's Jean Pronovost tied the game on a Capitals power play at 8:18, Rick Green and Mike Gartner assisting. Anton Stastny scored at 9:46 of the first to give Quebec a 2-0 lead. Peter Stastny and Goulet assisted. Washington managed seven shots on Quebec's Dan Bouchard in the first while the Nords countered with six against the Caps' Mike Palmateer.
Washington knotted the score at 1:56 of the second when Green scored a power play goal with an assist form Glen Currie. Just 41 seconds after Green tied it, Quebec regained the lead on Anton Stastny's second goal of the night. The two clubs continued trading goals when Washington's Ryan Walter scored at 6:09 of the second with assists from Gartner and Bengt Gustafsson. Just 19 seconds after Walter's goal, the Nords took the lead for good when Peter Stastny bagged his second of the game, brother Anton assisting. Jacques Richard scored for Quebec at 13:27 of the middle period to give his team a 5-3 cushion over the Caps. Linemates Dale Hunter and Marc Tardif assisted. The Capitals drew within a goal at 5-4 when Dennis Maruk scored on a power play at 14:48 with help from Gustafsson and Gartner. But Peter Stastny completed his hat trick at 18:51 with a 4-on-3 power play goal. Again, brother Anton picked up an assist. Less than a minute later, the Nordiques scored another 4-on-3 power play goal. This time it was Pierre Lacroix who found the back of the net. Peter Stastny picked up one of the assists. The Nords outshot the Caps 16-11 and took a 7-4 lead to the dressing room for the second intermission.
Quebec wasted little time in adding to its lead in the third. Just 34 seconds in, Anton Stastny completed his hat trick on a 5-on-3 power play with help from brother Peter. That goal chased Palmateer to the Washington bench. After allowing eight goals on 23 shots, he was replaced by Wayne Stephenson. Thirty-three seconds into Stephenson's tenure in the nets, Richard beat him on a power play for his second of the night. Anton Stastny picked up another assist. With the clubs back at even and equal strength 26 seconds later, Richard scored again to complete his hat trick and the third hat trick of the night for Quebec. That made it 10-4, but there was no quit in the Caps. Eighteen seconds after Richard's third goal, Green scored his second of the night for Washington to make it 10-5. Wes Jarvis and Bob Kelly assisted on the Green goal. The Caps closed the gap to 10-6 at 3:48 of the final period when Gustafsson scored with assists from Maruk and Kelly. Gustafsson scored another goal on a Washington power play at 7:21 to make it 10-7. Jarvis and Pronovost assisted on Gustafsson's second goal of the evening. Finally, with just five seconds left in the game, Peter Stastny closed out the scoring with his fourth goal of the night. Of course, Anton gained an assist on this goal. The Caps outshot the Nords 12-11 in the third period but Quebec held the advantage in that category on the game, 33-30.
Each team had four power play goals. With four goals and eight points, Peter Stastny took first star honors. With three goals and eight points, brother Anton Stastny earned the game's second star. Washington's Gustafsson won the third star designation with two goals and four points.