Alan May probably will not be able to return to the Washington Capitals lineup for another week.

May bruised a knuckle (and displaced the tendon) in his left hand in an Oct. 20 fight with New Jersey's Al Stewart and missed his sixth game last night as the Capitals played the Los Angeles Kings at Capital Centre.

May might travel and work out with the team when it goes to Quebec City to play the Nordiques Tuesday. He is hoping to be able to play next Saturday when the Capitals will meet the Buffalo Sabres at Capital Centre.

"My hands are as important to me as Dino Ciccarelli's are to him," said May, the Capitals' enforcer, referring to the team's leading goal scorer of a year ago. "I don't want to come back, get in a fight, injure it again and have to go out again. I want to make sure it's good for the long term."

There still is noticeable swelling around the knuckle, although May was able to hold a stick and shoot some during yesterday morning's pregame skate.

"I scored on all five," May added with a chuckle. Early View of Gretzky

Los Angeles Coach Tom Webster first saw Wayne Gretzky play more than a dozen years ago, but it wasn't as a coach or scout.

"The first time I saw him play, I played against him," said Webster, who was a member of the Hartford Whalers during their days in the now-defunct World Hockey Association. Webster added jokingly: "Yeah, I think he got the first star." Seventh on Scoring List

Going into last night's game, the Capitals' Calle Johansson and Kevin Hatcher were tied for seventh place in scoring among NHL defensemen with 11 points . . . Goalie Don Beaupre, who will be out for a couple of weeks with a pulled groin muscle, is planning to go home to Minnesota to visit his daughters for a couple of days. . . .

Alfie Turcotte is the Baltimore Skipjacks' leading scorer (going into last night's game against Adirondack) with five goals and 11 assists. Steve Maltais had seven goals and four assists, while Tim Taylor, John Purves (now with the Capitals) and Chris Felix also have 11 points.