Punishment for the key figures in the Capitals-Red Wings brawl was left up in the air yesterday.

A spokesman for the National Hockey League said that Executive Vice President Brian O'Neill would not make a decision until today because the flight scheduled to carry the video film of Sunday's game "did not take off" Monday night.

The flight in question, Eastern 172 from Baltimore to Montreal, operated on schedule, according to a spokesman for Eastern Airlines.

"It's unfortunate," said Washington General Manager Max McNab. "We called somebody in on his day off to get a print done up. It was there by the 6:30 deadline for the (8:20) flight. You have to get it there early to have time to show customs there is no value.

"We did what they asked us to do. I don't know what happened after that. We were advised by the league that there would be no decision until Wednesday."

Accordingly, all members of the Capitals were able to play in last night's Capital Centre game against Boston and all members of the Red Wings were eligible for last night's Olympia contest against Buffalo.

Every player in uniform was invovled in the brawl, which lasted 15 minutes and forced referee Ron Wicks to tack the last 33 seconds of the second period onto the third period.