On January 27, 1980, the Capitals thumped the New York Islanders by a 7-1 score before 12,831 patrons at the Capital Centre.
Longtime Washington nemesis Mike Bossy opened the scoring for the Islanders at 3:23 of the first when he beat Caps goaltender Wayne Stephenson. That closed out the scoring for the period and would also represent the Isle's offense for the game. Washington outshot the Islanders 11-10.
The Caps wasted no time in getting even in the second period. Just eight seconds into the period, Mike Gartner beat future Hall of Fame netminder Billy Smith. A mere 22 seconds later, Bengt Gustafsson scored to give the Caps a lead they would not relinquish. With two goals in 30 seconds at the start of a period, the Caps set an NHL record for fastest two scores at the start of a stanza. Buffalo set the previous mark at 31 seconds on January 10, 1974. The barrage on Smith continued when Paul Mulvey scored at the 58-second mark, giving Washington a 3-1 lead and three goals in 50 seconds. Ryan Walter scored at 4:14, Paul MacKinnon scored his first NHL goal at 9:08 and Walter scored again on a four-on-three power play at 13:16. With six goals in the period, the Capitals established a new franchise record. The Caps outshot New York 11-8 in the middle period.
Gustafsson closed out the scoring for the night with a goal at 1:02 of the third period. The Caps again held a shot advantage at 12-8 and led for the night, 34-26.
The win was only Washington's second ever over the Islanders and lifted the Caps' overall record against the Isles to 2-18-3. The seven goals also represented the most the Caps had scored in a single game against the Isles to that date.