On March 23, 1986, the Capitals pulled out a thrilling 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at the Capital Centre.
Philadelphia's Ron Sutter started the scoring at 1:38 of the first period when he beat Washington netminder Pete Peeters. Washington's Bobby Carpenter answered at 3:22 when he tucked the puck behind Philly's Bob Froese. It was Carpenter's 27th goal of the season. Gaetan Duchesne's 11th of the year came at 4:40 and it gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead. Tim Kerr scored his 51st of the season on a Philadelphia power play at 11:22 to tie the score. Kerr netted his 52nd at 15:48 to close out the first period scoring and give Philly a 3-2 lead. The Capitals outshot the Flyers by a 12-8 margin in the period.
Scott Stevens evened it up for Washington at 1:22 of the second with his 11th of the season. Dave Christian scored his 38th of the year for Washington at 4:41 to give the Caps the lead and chase Froese to the bench. He was replaced by veteran Chico Resch after allowing four goals on 15 shots. Craig Laughlin scored his 25th of the season on a power play at 11:30 to give the Caps a two-goal cushion at 5-3. Just 11 seconds later, however, Ilkka Sinisalo bagged his 35th of the year for Philly to pull the Flyers within a goal. Washington had 11 second period shots on goal to Philadelphia's four.
Brian Propp scored his 36th of the season for Philly at 1:37 of the third to tie the score at 5-5. Just over a minute later, the Caps took the lead for good on Bobby Gould's 14th of the season. The Caps held off the Flyer attack from that point on; the Flyers outshot the Caps 11-10 in the final frame but the Caps enjoyed a 33-23 advantage on the game.