On March 5, 1980, the Capitals defeated the St. Louis Blues 7-5 before a Capital Centre gathering of 8,103.
Robert Picard opened the scoring for Washington at 6:52 of the first period with Mike Gartner and Paul Mulvey picking up assists. At 13:08, Gartner made it 2-0 with Ryan Walter and Mulvey helping out. St. Louis rookie Perry Turnbull halved the Washington lead when he beat Wayne Stephenson at 16:02. Ninety-five seconds later, Gartner struck again, with Mulvey and Walter again picking up assists. A mere 20 seconds after his second goal of the game, Gartner completed the hat trick, beating St. Louis goaltender Mike Liut and extending the Washington lead to 4-1. Mulvey picked up his fourth assist of the game and the period on the play.
When Bob Sirois scored a pair of goals within two minutes midway through the middle frame, it appeared as though Washington would rout the Blues. Sirois's second goal chased Liut from the pipes. He was relieved by Doug Grant after allowing six goals on 18 shots.
But there was no quit in the visitors. Ralph Klassen made it 6-2 Caps when he scored with just over four minutes remaining. Then, with only 11 seconds left in the period and the Capitals playing a man short, Mike Zuke brought St. Louis to within three.
The Capitals' Rolf Edberg scored at 10:12 of the third to give the Caps more breathing room at 7-3. Less than a minute later, Wayne Babych scored for St. Louis. With 4:20 left in the game, Blair Chapman scored to make it 7-5 Caps.
Washington held on for the victory, despite being outshot 35-29 by St. Louis.
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