On February 26, 1980 the Washington Capitals defeated the Los Angeles Kings by a 5-3 score at the Capital Centre.
Washington's Wes Jarvis started the scoring at 3:54 of the first period with assists from Paul MacKinnon and Robert Picard. Washington took a 1-0 lead to the locker room at the first intermission. The Capitals launched 15 shots at the Kings' Doug Keans while Los Angeles answered with 10 against Washington's Wayne Stephenson.
Early in the second period, Washington pushed its lead to 2-0 on a goal by Ryan Walter. Walter's goal came on a single assist from Pat Ribble at 1:36. At 2:56 of the second, the Kings halved the lead on Charlie Simmer's power play goal. Just 2:12 after his first goal, Simmer scored on yet another Los Angeles power play to knot the score at 2-2. Ribble wasted little time in getting the lead back for the Capitals. A mere 40 seconds after Simmer tied it, Ribble took a pass from Paul Mulvey and beat Keans to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead. Washington nipped the Kings in second period shots on goal, 11-10.
At the 13-second mark of the third, LA's Marcel Dionne tied the game with an even strength tally. With Simmer off for holding at 12:35, Washington's Mark Lofthouse scored to give the Capitals a 4-3 lead. Bob Sirois and Bengt Gustafsson assisted on Lofthouse's goal, which would prove to be the game-winner. Mike Gartner added an empty-netter with 27 seconds remaining to ice it for Washington. Picard and Walter picked up assists on Gartner's insurance goal.
With a goal and an assist on the evening, Ribble was named the game's first star. Lofthouse's game-winner got him the second star and Gartner was named third star.