The Oilers took a 1-0 lead 9:48 in on Gordon's fourth goal.
Justin Schultz recovered a loose puck near center ice, skated down the right wing and sent a pass to Gordon, who flipped a shot past goalie Braden Holtby.
Just 3:53 later, Laich scored his first of the season when he fired a shot past LaBarbera.
Ward gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead one second after Brouwer and Edmonton's David Perron returned to the ice following roughing penalties.
Washington had been working with a 4-on-3 power play, and patiently moved the puck in front of the net until Ward scored. Barely three minutes later, it was Ovechkin's turn, and then Brouwer's.
"We were kind of in a tough spot after last game, 1-4, losing ground a little bit," Brouwer said. "Guys are always a little bit upset when they're not producing because they feel like they're not helping their team out as much as they could, especially if you're expected to score."
Ovechkin was called for interfering with Mike Brown at 12:19 of the third period. A melee ensued with Ovechkin, Brown, the Oilers' Luke Gazdic, and Washington's Mike Green and Karl Alzner all sent off the ice for various infractions.
Acton cut the Oilers' deficit to 4-2 with 1:42 left in the game.
By then, the Capitals had been playing with a three-goal lead for 24 minutes, and that helped boost their confidence.
"You're not scared to make mistakes. You're not as tentative," Holtby said.
Edmonton F Nail Yakupov was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 draft is pointless in four games. ... Washington D John Erskine missed his second straight game because of an upper body injury. ... In the first period, Green collided with the Oilers LW Jesse Joensuu in front of his own bench and tumbled headfirst over the boards. He didn't miss any ice time. ... Ovechkin has nine points in six games. ... It was the 22nd time Backstrom had three assists in a game. ... Edmonton allowed its NHL-worst 10th first-period goal.
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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 14: Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals warms up before the game against the...