The Washington Capitals reduced their roster to 20 yesterday by sending wingers Todd Bidner and Tom Rowe to their Hershey farm club in the American League.

Eight of the 20 who will leave with the Capitals today on a six-game western swing are defensemen; only 10 are forwards. But two defenders, Randy Holt and Greg Theberge, will probably see some duty on the wing.

"We will definitely use Greg Theberge on the power play as a specialist, and maybe give him the odd shift up front," said General Manager Roger Crozier.

Theberge, after a five-week layoff with strained knee ligaments, saw spot duty in Sunday's 5-5 tie against Quebec.

Bidner recently returned from a broken leg, while Rowe had a lengthy layoff before being paid off by Hartford and joining the Washington organization. With limited practice time available on the upcoming trip, they were sent down basically for conditioning.

"They've got to get some time on the ice and get in shape, to where they can contribute," Crozier said. "We'll work around it for a couple of games and see how it goes. If we're really strapped, we can call Jim McGeough up from Billings to play forward."

Bidner has posted two goals and one assist in 11 games, Rowe a goal and an assist in five.

The Capitals' road trip includes games in Calgary Thursday, Edmonton Friday, Denver Sunday, Los Angeles Feb. 17, Minnesota Feb. 20 and Winnipeg Feb. 21.