UNIONDALE, N.Y., DEC. 1 -- The Washington Capitals faced the New York Islanders tonight with their fourth consecutive new combination of goalies.

Mike Liut did not dress for Friday night's 4-3 loss to Montreal because of a pulled groin that first bothered him in Wednesday night's victory over the New York Rangers; and although he traveled with the team he did not dress for tonight's contest either. The injury doesn't appear nearly as serious as the one that kept Don Beaupre out a month. Liut hopes a few more days of rest will suffice.

Mike Ridley, who has a cold, also missed tonight's game.

Coach Terry Murray, who apparently hadn't heard about Liut's injury when a reporter asked him about injuries on Thursday, has had to juggle his goaltending lineup.

Liut relieved Jim Hrivnak when Hrivnak strained his left knee last Saturday in Pittsburgh. Beaupre put on a Capitals uniform Wednesday for the first time since the injury and backed up Liut in New York. When Liut said he couldn't go after skating Friday morning, Shawn Simpson, who has been the backup in Baltimore, was summoned to back up Beaupre against the Canadiens. The Skipjacks beat Utica, 10-5, Friday night in Baltimore with Olie Kolzig in goal. He was then called up to the Capitals and was on the bench tonight. He might go back to the first-place Skipjacks for their game Sunday night, but he probably will be with the Capitals until Liut is better or until Hrivnak, who is due to be reexamined Monday, can play. . . .

Left wing Steve Maltais (the AHL's leading scorer) and center Alfie Turcotte also were called up after the Montreal game and were in the lineup tonight. Rob Murray was the other Capital scratched.