On November 15, 1980, the Washington Capitals defeated the Hartford Whalers by a score of 8-4 at the Hartford Civic Center. The win was significant in two respects. It pushed the team’s road unbeaten string to six games, a new franchise standard. More importantly, it raised the team’s record to 5-5-7 and marked the first time in franchise history that the Capitals had been at the .500 mark in the month of November.
Hartford’s Blaine Stoughton started the scoring spree just 40 seconds into the first period when he beat Washington netminder Mike Palmateer. Washington’s Wes Jarvis evened the count at 1-1 when he beat Hartford goaltender John Garrett at 2:01 of the opening period. Alan Hangsleben and Dennis Ververgaert drew assists on the Jarvis tally. Just over a minute later, Palmateer sprung Maruk with a pass and the diminutive Washington center scored to give the Capitals the lead. The goal gave Maruk a point in 10 straight games, tying a club record. At 13:09, Hartford’s Mike Rogers evened the contest at 2-2 when he scored a power play goal against Palmateer. Hartford held an 11-8 advantage over Washington in first period shots on goal.
Former Cap Tom Rowe bit the hand that once fed him, scoring against his old mates at 2:38 of the second to give the Whale its first lead of the evening. Exactly one minute later, Washington’s Jean Pronovost evened the score with help from Bob Kelly and Maruk. Fourteen seconds after Pronovost’s goal, Ververgaert scored to make it 4-2, Capitals. Howard Walker and Jarvis were credited with the assists on that one. At 8:12 of the second, Rick Smith -playing in his first game for the Caps after being acquired on waivers from Detroit - scored his first Washington goal. Ryan Walter and Paul Mulvey came away with helpers on Smith’s goal. At 11:02 of the second, Maruk scored his second of the game on a power play to bust it wide open and give the Caps a 6-3 lead. Darren Veitch and Mike Gartner registered assists on Maruk’s tally. Stoughton scored his second of the game on a Hartford power play at 18:56 of the middle frame to make it a two-goal game. The Whalers again outshot the Caps, 13-9.
At 3:50 of the second period, Walter scored an unassisted power play goal to make it 7-4, Capitals. At 12:45, Maruk closed out the scoring with his third of the game. It was his fourth hat trick as a Capital and his second in as many games. He became the first Capital to record hat tricks in successive contests. Kelly and Pronovost assisted on Maruk’s landmark goal. The Caps outshot the Whale 6-4 in the third but the Whale prevailed on the night in that department, 28-23.