The Washington Capitals, who ended a 13-game winless streak with a 7-3 rout of Toronto Sunday night, continue their playoff drive tonight at 7:35 in Capital Centre against the Colorado Rockies.

The Caps playoff chances will become clearer soon. They face four games in five days, with Colorado followed by Hartford, Boston and Toronto again. i

The Caps, at 20-30-16, are tied with Edmonton and Toronto for 15th place in the National Hockey League. With 16 teams making the playoffs, one of these three likely will be eliminated. Edmonton and Toronto are idle tonight, so a Washington victory would give it a two-place edge on 15th place. tOf their 14 games, the Caps will play eight in Capital Centre.

The Caps, who have never made the playoffs, are expected to start Mike Palmateer in goal tonight. He is recovered from ankle and hand injuries.

The Rockies, virtually out of playoff contention, are led by winger Lanny McDonald, who has 30 goals and 36 assists. Colorado also has the NHL's oldest player, defensman Terry Harper, 41, and the youngest, left wing Paul Gange, who turned 19 a month ago.

Capital left wing Errol Rausse, who was recalled from Hershey and saw spot duty Sunday, will be in uniform for tonight's contest.

Dennis Maruk's hat trick against Toronto Sunday gave him a team record 40 goals, breaking Guy Charron's mark of 38 set two seasons ago.