On November 14, 1978, the Washington Capitals and the Atlanta Flames hooked up in a barnburner of a game before a meager crowd of 6,149 fans at the Capital Centre in Landover. When all the dust had settled, the Capitals emerged victorious by a score of 8-7.
Washington jumped all over the Flames early in this contest, rewriting the club record book in the process. Dennis Maruk opened up the goal fest at the 11-second mark. At 1:09, Swedish import Leif Svensson scored his first NHL goal and Ron Lofthouse made it 3-0 Capitals at 3:03. Atlanta's Bob MacMillan scored on a power play at 8:47 to cut into the Capital lead but Rolf Edberg - who joined Svensson as the first European-born Capitals - scored at 12:41 to restore the three-goal cushion. The goal was Edberg's second in the NHL. MacMillan scored again to make it 4-2 Caps before Washington's Guy Charron closed out the first period scoring at 15:11. Despite being outshot 12-11, the Capitals took a commanding 5-2 lead to the locker room.
At 12:53 of the second period, Washington's Tom Rowe netted a power play marker to make it 6-2 Caps. Less than a minute later, Atlanta's Eric Vail responded with a power play goal. Atlanta's Guy Chouinard scored on another Flames power play at 17:40 to make it 6-4, Capitals. Atlanta held a 12-4 advantage in shots on goal in the second period.
Bobby Lalonde scored at 2:39 of the third period to bring the Flames within a goal of Washington. The Flames' Willi Plett scored at 8:13 to tie it at 6-6. With the teams skating four a side, Atlanta's Tom Lysiak gave his team its first lead of the night at 9:43. The Caps were in danger of blowing a four-goal lead until some late heroics saved the evening. Rick Green scored a rare goal at 12:20 while the teams played with only three skaters each. Green's goal tied the game and with just 1:16 remaining on the clock, Rowe's second goal of the night won it for Washington. Atlanta wound up with a 32-24 edge in shots, but the Caps skated off with the two points.
With three goals in 3:03 to start the contest, Washington shattered its previous record of three goals in 5:41. Maruk's goal at the 11-second mark tied the club record for fastest goal at the time and established a record for fastest goal at home. The game also marked the first time in club history that the Capitals had scored five first-period goals.