On February 6, 1990, the Washington Capitals set a team record for goals scored when they drubbed the Quebec Nordiques by a 12-2 score at the Capital Centre in Landover.
Washington also set a club mark for goals in the first period of a game with six. The scoring spree started when Scott Stevens netted his seventh of the season at 2:45 with assists from Yvon Corriveau and Michal Pivonka. Two minutes and two seconds later, John Tucker scored his eighth of the season to make it 2-0, Caps. Geoff Courtnall was credited with the lone assist. At 7:13 of the first, Mike Ridley scored an unassisted shorthanded goal - his 19th of the season - to give the Caps a three-goal lead. Quebec got on the board at 8:36 on Marc Fortier's fourth goal of the season but Kelly Miller quickly restored the three-goal Washington advantage. Miller scored his 17th of the season with assists from Ridley and Alan May at 9:52. Steve Leach's 15th of the year made it 5-1 at 10:46. Bob Rouse picked up the lone helper on Leach's goal. Michal Pivonka closed out the first period scoring with his 21st of the campaign at 18:56. Rouse and Calle Johansson assisted on Pivonka's power play strike. The Caps outshot the Nords by a wide 16-5 margin in the first.
The onslaught continued at 2:18 of the second when Dino Ciccarelli made it 7-1. Ridley and Rouse assisted on Ciccarelli's power play goal, his 24th of the season. Ciccarelli struck again exactly 12 minutes later, with Ridley and Rouse assisting again. At 17:17, Ciccarelli completed his natural hat trick with help from Tim Sheehy and Leach. Each club had 10 shots on goal in the second period.
Thirty seconds into the third period, Dale Hunter scored Washington's third power play goal of the night to make it 10-1. Tucker and Kevin Hatcher picked up assists on Hunter's goal, his 16th of the season. At 7:07, Ciccarelli netted his fourth of the night with help from Johansson and Ridley. Peter Stastny scored his 20th of the season for Quebec at 10:03 of the third and Johansson finally closed out the scoring with his seventh at 18:06 of the final frame. Tim Bergland and Courtnall got the assists on Washington's 12th goal of the night. The Nords outshot the Caps 9-5 in the third but the Caps held a 31-24 advantage on the night.
Caps goaltender Jim Hrivnak was the benefactor of Washington's offensive largesse. Scott Gordon was the unfortunate victim in the Quebec nets; he allowed all 12 goals on just 31 shots. Gordon's career was a brief one; he posted a 2-16-0 record with a 5.60 goals against average in parts of two NHL campaigns.
Ciccarelli's four-goal game was his second as a Capital. On March 18, 1989 - just 11 days after he was obtained from Minnesota in a deal for Mike Gartner and Larry Murhpy - Ciccarelli beat Hartford goaltender Mike Liut four times in an 8-2 Washington win.
With four goals and a natural hat trick, Ciccarelli was the slam-dunk choice for the game's first star. Ridley had a goal and four assists, good enough for the second star of the evening. Veteran defenseman Rouse enjoyed a career night with four assists. He was the game's third star.