On October 17, 1974, the Washington Capitals registered the first win of their history against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Capital Centre. Before a crowd of 9,471 spectators, the Caps edged the Hawks, 4-3.
The Caps lost their first two games to the New York Rangers and Minnesota North Stars on the road. On October 15, they skated to a 1-1 tie with the Los Angeles Kings in their first-ever home game.
Denis Dupere gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead over Chicago at 12:04 of the first period. Chicago's Jim Pappin knotted the score four minutes later and the clubs went to the dressing room tied 1-1 after the first period. Chicago held a 12-8 advantage in shots on goal.
Just 54 seconds into the second period, Chicago's Germaine Gagnon scored a power play goal to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. Dupere answered with his second of the game - the Capitals' second-ever power play goal - to tie the game at 9:47. The Capitals regained the lead on Ron Anderson's goal at 11:37. The seesaw affair fell back into a deadlock when the Hawks' Dennis Hull scored on the power play at 14:41. The clubs combined for only 13 shots in the second (the Caps led, 7-6) but four of them went into the net.
The Blackhawks outshot Washington 18-10 in the third, but the Caps scored the only goal of the stanza at 8:46. Jack Egers - with assists from Greg Joly and Yvon Labre - scored the first game-winning goal of the club's brief history. The Capitals had defeated an Original Six team for their first win and held a respectable 1-2-1 record after four games.