Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media following the team’s optional morning skate this morning in Detroit. He announced that Zach Fucale will get the start in goal tonight against the Red Wings. This will be Fucale’s first career NHL start. Ilya Samsonov will be the backup. Vitek Vanecek is taking a maintenance day.
Laviolette said he didn’t want to make any statements re the goaltender for tomorrow’s game against Columbus but they would continue to assess things with Vanecek.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 11, 2021
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.
“I feel like the last few years have been trending in the right direction. I got a good thing going and I’m just sticking to my game. I feel like things are working well right now.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 10, 2021
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.
By Jon Sorensen