The Washington Capitals visit their favorite foreign rink tonight when they battle the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Civic Arena in a game to be televised by WDCA-TV 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Washington has been a winner three of its last four trips to Pittsburgh, a remarkable feat, because in the club's 3 1/2 years of existence the Capitals have won only 16 games on the road. Besides Pittsburgh, multiple successes have come in Oakland and Detroit, twice each.

Pittsburgh is the team the Capitals must overhaul to reach the playoffs and the Penguins' nine-point edge, before the Capitals met Boston last night, makes tonight's contest a crucial one for Washington.

The Penguins are hurting, with defensemen Ron Stackhouse and Dave Burrows out of action. Burrows, who underwent surgery Dec. 22 for a cracked cheekbone, was Pittsburgh's best backliner. He was struck by a skate during a 5-3 victory over Montreal Dec. 17.

The Penguins'd efense currently lists ex-Capital Bob Paradise, Russ Anderson, Tom Edur, Colin Campbell and Tom Price. That is not a formidable group, but it was sufficient to hold off the Maple Leafs, 5-4 in Toronto Monday night.