Defenseman Kevin Hatcher was examined last night, and a team physician determined that a knee injury suffered in Saturday night's 4-2 loss to Buffalo was not serious, according to Capitals General Manager David Poile. Hatcher was not in the lineup last night, however, during Boston's 5-3 victory over Washington at Capital Centre. He may skate today, Poile said.

"When I first saw the hit, I thought bad things, but it doesn't look like it will be," Coach Terry Murray said prophetically before hearing the report. "It's a little stiff and a little sore."

Joel Quenneville, who had played in only two of the first 18 games, played in Hatcher's place last night.

The Capitals will play Wednesday night in Toronto, then will return home to face the Chicago Blackhawks Friday, before going to Hartford to play the Whalers Saturday.

Though they did not call up anyone from Baltimore yesterday, it's possible the Capitals will add a defenseman today. Kent Paynter is the likely candidate.

Meanwhile, Hatcher's agent, Ron Salcer, returned to Los Angeles yesterday. Though no new contract was reached, Poile was cautiously optimistic that things were still on track.

"I will talk to him tomorrow or Tuesday," Poile said. Kolzig Wins

Goalie Olie Kolzig won his first professional game yesterday as the Baltimore Skipjacks defeated Moncton, 5-1. . . . Poile, a 1971 Northeastern University graduate, spoke to members of the local alumni club before the Capitals game last night.Beaupre Recovering

Goalie Don Beaupre did some light skating Saturday for the first time since hurting a groin muscle in Vancouver on Oct. 30. He didn't exert that much energy but said he still felt a "twinge" when pushing off on the leg.

Beaupre, whose 1.75 goals-against-average is the best in the NHL, did not try any stops or even wear any pads. He took a few shots, an activity for which he is not paid.

"My hands weren't as good as I thought they were," he said with a laugh.