DETROIT, NOV. 19 -- The resurrection of Bob Joyce began tonight, as the left winger played his first game of the season with the Washington Capitals against the Detroit Red Wings.

Joyce, whose 11 months with the organization have had relatively few pleasant moments, sprained his left ankle in training camp and then was sent to Baltimore while the team openly talked of a trade. Though no one likes being sent to the minors, Joyce tried not to sulk and lose any more confidence.

"If you mope about it, it never gets you anywhere," said Joyce, who had five goals and three assists in 11 games with Baltimore. Skipjacks Coach "Robby Laird said he appreciated my attitude and he put in a good word for me, so here I am."

Joyce's journey here was much like his tenure with the organization. When he and defenseman Chris Felix got the call Friday to rejoin the Capitals, they were in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It took four flights to catch up with the Capitals in Hartford.

Joyce came to the Capitals on Dec. 13, 1989, from Boston in the trade for Dave Christian. He scored three goals in four games, but then injured his knee and ankle Jan. 3 in New York. When the injuries healed, Terry Murray had replaced Bryan Murray and had come to rely on others.

"I never got into game shape," said Joyce. "I guess it carried over into camp."

Once in Lake Placid, N.Y., Joyce said: "The jump wasn't there and I seemed to be playing on the fringe. I wasn't getting involved, not carrying the puck, not having confidence in my game. I have to have the jump, carry the puck and score. That's what they expect from me." Langway Still Uncertain

Murray said Rod Langway, who did not make this trip, had his injured right eye examined again over the weekend, but some swelling and blurriness remains. Langway hasn't skated in nine days, though Murray said Langway was bicycling to stay in shape. His status for Wednesday's home game against Toronto is questionable.