The Washington Capitols visit their favorite home away from home tonight when they battle the Pittsburgh Penguins in a televised game (WDCA-TV-20) from the Pittsburgh Civic Arena at 8 p.m.

The Capitals have not lost in Pittsburgh since Feb. 26,1977, winning three and tying one in the interim. In addition, they posted a 2-0 exhibition victory there two weeks ago.

The Penguins, winless in their first five games, are one team the Capitals are capable of passing this year.Like Washington, Pittsburgh desperately needs to win to sell tickets, and only 7,069 fans turned up for Wednesday's loss to the New York Islanders.

One man who won't be around is Washington left wing Craig Patrick. The Capitals sent him yesterday to Tulsa of the Central Hodkey League. Last season he scored only one goal in 44 games as capital.

Patricks departure reduced the Washington roster to 28, including Jack Lynch and Ryan Walter, both recuperating from knee operations, pickup grahp beginning Rod Schutt, etv.

Rod Schutt, the man the Capitals tried in vain to secure from Montreal, will be patrolling a left wings position for Penguins. Pittsburgh obtained Schutt from the Canadiens for "future considerations," believed go be a distant No. 1 draft choice when Montreal feels like exercising it. The Capitals refused to part with Washington for a week before being sent away.

This is the start of a three-game road trip for the Capitals, who also visit Chicago and Los Angeles while the horse show occupies Capital Centre. Pittsburgh will be the guest in the Capitals' next home appearance on Nov. 1.

Tonight's telecast is the first of 15 road games to be shown on channel 20 and marks the debut of the new announcing team of Jim West and Jack Doniger.