BALTIMORE, SEPT. 29 -- Enough with the exhibition season already -- let the real games begin.

The Washington Capitals completed their preseason tonight with a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Flyers in front of 5,781 at the Baltimore Arena.

The Capitals finished September with a 1-5-4 exhibition record. The season will open Friday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins visit Capital Centre.

Goalie Jim Hrivnak played his second game in two nights for Washington. He again had a strong game, but he played because Mike Liut told Coach Terry Murray a groin muscle was bothering him.

"It's not a pull; it's just tight," Murray said of Liut. "We just want to be careful. He'll be all set to go Monday. I want to emphasize it is just tight."

If the Capitals were to lose Liut for any length of time, they would be in a serious bind. Don Beaupre is still unsigned, and although Hrivnak has improved the past two games, General Manager David Poile was exploring trade possibilities again today.

The deadline for protecting players from Monday's waiver draft is 5 p.m. Sunday, so teams may try to move players instead of losing them in the draft.

The Capitals will have Sunday off, their first day off since training camp began Sept. 7. Defenseman Rod Langway will benefit from it. His back tightened up in Friday night's 3-2 loss to New Jersey and Murray said Langway will see a doctor Monday.

With the exhibition games over, the Capitals made some roster moves. There were no surprises.

Goalie Byron DaFoe, defenseman John Slaney (this year's No. 1 pick) and right wing Steve Martell will return to their junior teams on Sunday. The team also assigned 20 players to Baltimore, inluding goalies Shawn Simpson and Olie Kolzig.

The others were defensemen Jim Mathieson, Rob Mendel, Ken Lovsin, Jiri Vykoukal and Wade Bartley, and forwards Alfie Turcotte, John Purves, Tyler Larter, Tim Taylor, Reggie Savage, Steve Seftel, Victor Gervais, Thomas Sjogren, Jeff Greenlaw, Harry Mews, Randy Pearce, Todd Hlushko and Dave Lorentz.

This was the second tie between the Flyers and Capitals in three nights.

Tonight the Capitals got goals from Calle Johansson, Alan May and Dino Ciccarelli. The Flyers' scorers were Tony Horacek, Scott Mellanby and Dale Kushner.