On January 5, 1987, the Washington Capitals defeated the St. Louis Blues before a paltry crowd of 9,798 at The Arena in St. Louis.
Caps defenseman John Barrett opened the scoring at 6:18 of the first period with his second and final goal in a Capitals uniform. Barrett's unassisted tally stood up for just over a minute, until the Blues' Brian Benning tied the game at 7:30. Thirty seconds after Benning found the net, Washington's Craig Laughlin restored the Capital lead with his 12th goal of the season. Dave Christian closed out the first period scoring at 9:42 with his 10th of the season. Christian's power play goal gave the Caps a 3-1 lead after one. The Capitals launched 10 shots on St. Louis's Rick Wamsley while the Blues countered with only three on Washington's Pete Peeters.
It didn't take long for the Blues to draw even in the second. Mark Hunter scored his 20th of the season at the 44-second mark and just 12 seconds later, Greg Paslawski tied the game at 3-3. The Caps' Kelly Miller scored his seventh of the season at 3:31 to give Washington a 4-3 lead. The seesaw affair continued when the Blues' Bruce Bell scored on a power play at 5:49 to tie the score once again. Washington edged St. Louis in shots on goal in the middle period, 14-13.
The two clubs battled one another in a scoreless third for 15 minutes. Finally, at the 15:37 mark, Mike Gartner notched his 10th of the season to put Washington back in front. With Wamsley pulled from the St. Louis net, Washington's Bobby Gould nailed an empty-netter with just seven seconds remaining to ice a hard-earned Washington win. The Blues outshot the Caps 8-5 in the third but the Caps had a 29-24 advantage for the game.
Despite spending 18 minutes in the penalty box, Washington's Scott Stevens (one assist) was named the game's number one star. St. Louis's Doug Gilmour (three assists) took second star honors. Caps netminder Pete Peeters (20 saves) earned the third star designation.