On November 19, 1974, the Washington Capitals ended a 14-game winless streak (0-13-1) and recorded just the second victory in their brief existence, a 6-4 triumph over the California Golden Seals. The win raised Washington's record to 2-15-2. Only 7,061 spectators were on hand to witness the win at the Capital Centre in Landover.
Washington's Bill Mikkelson got the scoring started when he beat California's Gilles Meloche with a power play goal at 7:09 of the first period. Tommy Williams and Denis Dupere earned the assists on the Mikkelson goal. California rookie Rick Hampton evened the score at 12:17 when he tucked the puck behind Washington goaltender Ron Low. Washington's Pete Laframboise gave the Caps the lead when he scored against his former Seals teammates at 14:31 of the first. California held an 8-7 edge over Washington in first period shots on goal.
Washington's Bruce Cowick - obtained from Philadelphia in the expansion draft - scored his first NHL goal at 3:11 of the second period to push the Washington lead to two goals. Jim Moxey scored for the Seals at 12:35 of the second, cutting the Capital lead to 3-2. With Washington on the power play in the period's final two minutes, Capital winger Mike Marson cut in front of his own net with the puck. California penalty killer Dave Hrechosky stripped the puck from him and wrested the tying goal past a stunned Low. The Caps led in second period shots on goal, 10-6, but the teams were all even on the scoreboard and the beleaguered Caps had coughed up a rare two-goal lead.
At 8:29 of the third, Dupere restored the lead for the Caps with an unassisted tally. Less than a minute later, Marson gained redemption when he scored on the rebound of a Laframboise shot. It was Marson's first NHL and point and it ended a 14-game scoring dry spell for the 19-year-old rookie. Lew Morrison was credited with the second assist on that goal.
Marson did not have to wait long for his second goal. He was Johnny-on-the-spot again at 16:02 when he put back the rebound of a Gord Smith shot to give Washington a comfortable 6-3 bulge. Morrison again earned the second assist. With 56 seconds remaining in the game, California's Al MacAdam closed out the scoring.
Marson's two-goal outburst may have saved him from a trip to the Richmond Robins, the Capitals' American Hockey League affiliate at the time. He was extremely elated after the game and was happy not to have been benched after his turnover led to the tying goal.
"There will be plenty more," promised Marson after the game. "Marson is playing better hockey each week," said Capitals coach Jim Anderson. "As long as he checks his man, he'll get ice time."
During the 14-game winless streak, Washington was outscored by a combined 76-26. Four of its 13 losses over that stretch came via the shutout route.
Prosperity did not last long for the Capitals after their win over the Golden Seals. On the very next night in Buffalo, the Caps fell to the Sabres 7-3 and were outshot 50-14 in the process.