This Date in Caps History - December 26
On December 26, 1979, the Washington Capitals bombed the Maple Leafs 8-2 in Toronto.
Washington's Guy Charron got things started at 5:23 of the first when he scored on Toronto netminder Mike Palmateer. Mike Kaszycki and Tom Rowe assisted. Palmateer left the Toronto nets at that point in favor if backup Paul Harrison. Just under two minutes later, Mike Gartner made it 2-0 with help from Ryan Walter and Robert Picard. Paul Mulvey's goal at 12:19 gave the Caps a 3-0 lead. Gartner and Peter Scamurra assisted on Mulvey's marker. Washington's Rolf Edberg closed out the first period scoring when he netted a shorthanded goal at 14:54. Walter picked up the lone assist on Edberg's goal. The Capitals had 16 shots on Palmateer in the first while the Leafs countered with just six against Washington goaltender Rollie Boutin.
The Leafs finally got on the board at 11:12 of the second period when Lanny McDonald beat Boutin. The Caps got that one back at 14:39 when Charron netted his second of the game on a Washington power play. Picard and Bengt Gustafsson assisted. The Leafs outshot the Caps 9-7 in the middle stanza but Washington carried a 5-1 lead into the final frame.
Picard scored for the Caps at 2:18 of the third with Walter and Mulvey collecting assists. Toronto's Borje Salming scored at 8:47 to make it 6-2 but Charron completed his hat trick on a Washington power play at 13:22 Kaszycki and Picard were credited with assists on the Charron goal. The tally was also Charron's 500th NHL point. With just 25 seconds remaining in the contest, Mulvey closed out the scoring with his second goal of the game. Walter and Gartner picked up assists. For Walter, it was his fourth assist of the evening. The Leafs outshot the Caps 12-8 in the final period but the Capitals held a 31-27 advantage in that department for the game.
The win was Washington's first ever in Toronto.