ANNAPOLIS, DEC. 10 -- The Washington Capitals were missing their two top scorers for practice today and might be without them Tuesday when they play the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:35 at Capital Centre.

Center Michal Pivonka had his injured left knee checked by a doctor, and though the injury is not severe, Pivonka said he wasn't sure if would play against Philadelphia. Defenseman Kevin Hatcher, who took over the team lead with two points Saturday, was home with the flu today and did not take part in the team's workout at the Naval Academy.

Hatcher and Pivonka were tied for the team lead in points (31) before the Capitals' 4-2 loss Saturday night in New Jersey. Hatcher scored his 12th goal of the season (two shy of his NHL high) and had an assist on the other goal by Steve Leach.

In the third period, New Jersey defenseman Lee Norwood delivered a thumping hip and body check causing Pivonka's knee injury.

"You never know when it first happens what it's going to feel like," Pivonka said by phone from home today.

But Pivonka was pleased when team physician Stephen Haas told him there was no serious damage.

"It's not too bad today," Pivonka said. "It was stiff {Sunday} and a little bit so today, but it's just a bruise. I will try to skate {Tuesday}. He said there is no damage, so it's up to me."

Pivonka, who will probably wear a brace for the first couple of days, will test the knee in Tuesday morning's pregame skate.

The Capitals have one extra healthy forward at the moment, that being Tim Bergland. Coach Terry Murray said that if Pivonka could not play, Alfie Turcotte would move up from centering the fourth line to one of the other three. Bergland would then take Turcotte's place.

The fourth line is likely to be without Alan May for a third straight game. He injured his shoulder last Wednesday and didn't seem overly confident that he could play.

"I'm sort of in limbo," May said with an ice pack on his shoulder. "We'll wait and see how it feels {Tuesday}. I could only shoot half-way."

Though it cooled a bit over the weekend, Pivonka's line, which included left wing Kelly Miller and right wing Peter Bondra, had been the most effective even-strength offensive line of recent times. If Pivonka doesn't play and Turcotte moves up, it could mean an entire new mix.

With Hatcher ailing, Ken Lovsin was promoted from Baltimore. If Lovsin plays, it would be his NHL debut. The Capitals are not carrying an extra defenseman now, and Lovsin probably will go back to Baltimore if Hatcher is able to play.

"When I spoke with {Baltimore Coach} Robbie {Laird}, I made it clear that it was a day-to-day thing," Murray said. "They play four games this week, most of them here, so it would be easy to make a change."

Meanwhile, the Flyers, who are visiting for the first time this season, are the surprise of the Patrick Division. Owners of an 18-13-2 record, they have been alone or tied for second place in the division since Nov. 10.

Their last two games were odd, though. They were embarrassed by the lowly Minnesota North Stars, 7-0, Saturday in Bloomington, Minn., but then beat the league's overall leader, Chicago, 5-4, Monday night.

Ron Hextall was in goal for the victory in Chicago, returning for the first time since he injured his knee Oct. 27. For the moment at least, the Flyers have three healthy goalies -- Hextall, Ken Wregget and former Capital Pete Peeters.

Peeters had heads shaking all through November. The 33-year-old veteran, who won one game last season, was keeping the Flyers in second place while Hextall and Wregget nursed their injuries.

"Surprised?" Murray said, repeating the question. "Maybe a little, but then no. I played with him and I can remember when he played tremendous hockey. He has played very well for a very big part of his career."

Peeters started 17 straight games, but was relieved by Wregget in the last two. Then Hextall beat the Blackhawks and he may play against the Capitals. But looking at the rest of the season, the Flyers may decide to trade Wregget, who -- unlike Peeters -- is not at the stage of his career where he will be happy being a backup.

"We have to see if we can stay healthy," Flyers General Manager Russ Farwell said. "If it goes the way we think it will go, then we can think about doing something as far as a trade."