LAKE PLACID, N.Y., SEPT. 11 -- With Don Beaupre still unsigned, Mike Liut and Jim Hrivnak are the goaltenders working with the Capitals' A group. Liut has been extremely sharp.

"Mike Liut has looked very good," Coach Terry Murray said. "He's a true professional. He's very aware of what he has to do to be successful. He's had two great scrimmages."

Liut, who will be 35 by midseason, is coming off one of his best seasons. Hrivnak has played just 10 NHL games and surely senses he has an opportunity with Beaupre out.

"He's had two tough scrimmages," Murray said. "He's fighting the puck. It seems like he's trying to do too much." 'Wrestlemania'

The Capitals' first exhibition game will be Friday night in Baltimore against the New York Rangers and, with three days gone in training camp, the intensity is picking up.

During today's scrimmage, Nick Kypreos didn't appreciate the hit he took from Dino Ciccarelli and the two stood jawing at one another. Defenseman Bob Babcock interceded, with Babcock and Kypreos waging the first fight of training camp. They aren't quite ready for Las Vegas yet. It was roughly a draw.

"It looked like 'Wrestlemania,' " Alan May joked.

"It's the third day and players are starting to feel more comfortable, and are getting a little more hungry," Murray said. "Plus they were on the bigger rink yesterday and reality is the smaller ice surface {that was used today}. You have to pay attention or you'll get run over." Arbitration for Enforcer

At some point this fall, May will go to arbitration over his salary. The Capitals exercised a right to sign him to a one year-plus option deal, but the two sides could not agree on a salary figure. A year ago, May played under a contract that paid him a base salary of $50,000 (second lowest in the league) and $750 per game.

As a rookie last season, he played 77 games and was the designated enforcer. He set a team record for penalty minutes with 339, second-highest in the league, although he only left the Capitals shorthanded 16 times.

"I'm not happy I have to do it," May said. "If I walked into the dressing room and asked anybody if they would want my job, not one would raise their hand." No Progress on Holdouts

General Manager David Poile spoke today with Ron Simon, the agent for Beaupre, but there was no agreement. Poile and Ron Salcer, who represents holdout defenseman Kevin Hatcher, again went without talking.