Capitals Place Nic Dowd On Injured Reserve, Recall Aliaksei Protas And Goaltender Zach Fucale

The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday morning that forward Nic Dowd has been placed on injured reserve. Dowd was injured in Monday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Dowd left Monday’s game against the Sabres with a lower-body injury. During the second period, Dowd limped/crawled to the bench and would not return for the remainder of the game.

The team also announced that they recalled forward Aliaksei Protas and goaltender Zach Fucale from the Hershey Bears. Both players were at Capitals practice Wednesday morning.


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled center Aliaksei Protas and goaltender Zach Fucale from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. In addition, center Nic Dowd was placed on the Injured Reserve list.

Protas, 20, made his NHL debut on Nov. 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In eight games with the Bears this season, Protas has recorded five points (1g, 4a).

The 6’6″, 225-pound center recorded 18 points (10g, 8a) in 58 regular season games with Dinamo Minsk during the 2020-21 season. The Vitebsk, Belarus, native tied for fifth on the team in goals and tied for eighth in points, despite ranking 15th in time on ice per game (12:52) among Dinamo Minsk skaters with at least 30 games played. Protas was re-assigned to Hershey on March 18 and made his AHL debut on March 31. He recorded seven points (2g, 5a) in 16 games with Hershey. Additionally, Protas represented Belarus at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, recording two assists in six games.

Fucale, 26, is 3-0-2 with Hershey this season with a 1.73 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. The 6’2″, 189-pound goaltender is tied for second in the AHL in goals-against average among goaltenders with at least five games played.

During the 2020-21 season, the Laval, Quebec, native led the AHL in goals-against average (1.80) and ranked second in save percentage (.932), establishing career highs in both categories. Fucale played 11 games with Hershey, the most games he has played at the AHL level since the 2017-18 season, posting a 9-2-0-1 record. Fucale’s nine wins were tied for eighth in the AHL, while his two losses were the fewest among goaltenders with at least 660 minutes played. Fucale and Pheonix Copley received the AHL’s Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, presented to the goaltenders on the team which allows the fewest goals per game in the regular season.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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11 Responses to Capitals Place Nic Dowd On Injured Reserve, Recall Aliaksei Protas And Goaltender Zach Fucale

  1. novafyre says:

    Hmmm, I expected the Protas recall, did not expect Fucale. What are thoughts on this?

  2. Marky says:

    I would bet it is. Teams very rarely keep 3 goaltenders.

  3. Dan Hornbaker says:

    Likely is precautionary as y’all suggest. I wouln’t be surprised if they send Samsonov down for two reasons – get a couple games under his belt and just a nice reminder to get your stuff together in general.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think Fucale gets a game in the back-to-back set. Show what he can do. Would be a kick in the pants for Sammy too.

  5. DC Scappeli says:

    I’d like to see what Protas can bring…maybe he can screen better and get stuff around the net that I was expecting Mantha to do. Although, Protas is a center, but let’s see if he can use his size to bang around the net

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