Coaches like to think training camp is essential to starting a season well. That might be, but Washington Capitals goalie Don Beaupre, who missed all of September, might be in action after less than a week of work.

"He might be ready to go by Wednesday, but we'll see," Coach Terry Murray said yesterday. "He's been working hard and he was in pretty good shape coming in. It's not like we have to force him in, because we don't have an injury" to Mike Liut.

The Capitals, who defeated the Detroit Red Wings last night in the second game of the season to square their record at 1-1, will play their first road game Wednesday against the Rangers in New York. Hrivnak Heads Up Highway

After Friday's game, Jim Hrivnak was sent to the Baltimore Skipjacks, who opened their season last night in Hershey. Hrivnak declined to discuss the move, but it would be understandable if he were disappointed.

He was in training camp from the start and the Capitals talked as if he was their second goalie -- though that probably was more propaganda during negotiations with Beaupre.

"Sure, but I have talked to Jimmy and the one thing about Jimmy Hrivnak is that he's a sharp kid," Murray said.

"He knows what's going on. I talked to him before the waiver draft and I told him we might try to do something, either getting another veteran goaltender or signing Beaupre. He understood that. The best thing for him is to play 60 games this year and be the best one in Baltimore and be an all-star" in the AHL. . . .

Defenseman Wade Bartley, who had been working with the Baltimore Skipjacks in training camp, was sent back to his junior team, Sudbury. Langway Starts Streak

Last night, for the second game in a row, Rod Langway lost a skate blade while on the ice. . . . Peter Bondra and Tim Bergland were scratched. Rob Murray and Nick Kypreos, who sat Friday, played on the fourth line with Dave Tippett.