March 28On March 28, 1975, the Capitals won the first road game in franchise history after 37 consecutive defeats. Washington's first win away from home came at the hands of the California Golden Seals, who dropped a 5-3 decision to the Caps.
Capitals captain Doug Mohns started the scoring for Washington when he tallied on the power play at 3:04 of the first period. It was just the second goal of the season for Mohns and it proved to be the final (248th) goal of his 22-year, 1,390-game NHL career as well. Ron Anderson scored his seventh of the season at 4:12 to give the Capitals a luxury to which they were seldom accustomed - a two-goal lead on the road. Warren Williams put the Seals on the board at 15:57 but Washington answered almost immediately. Gord Smith beat California netmidner Gilles Meloche at 16:49 to restore Washington's two-goal cushion. The Caps outshot the Seals by a 12-5 count in the first.
Charlie Simmer - an NHL rookie with the Seals that season - scored the only goal of the second period at 3:31 to bring California to within a goal of the Capitals. The Caps held a slim 5-4 advantage in shots on goal for the middle period.
Dave Gardner beat Washington goaltender Ron Low at 5:05 of the third to even the score at 3-3. But Nelson Pyatt - acquired in a deal with Detroit just a month earlier - scored his fourth goal as a Cap to give Washington another lead. Pyatt's goal came at 6:31. The Caps resorted to defending their slim advantage until Pyatt tallied an empty-netter with 16 seconds left to seal the victory. California had 11 shots in the third to Washington's eight but the Caps led 25-20 on the evening.
After the game, several Capitals skated around the arena while carrying an old trashcan on their shoulders. The revelers passed the "cup" from player to player and most of them later autographed the receptacle. In subsequent visits to Oakland, the trashcan provided a happy reminder of a brief bright spot in an otherwise dismal season.
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