Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media prior tonight’s game against the Wild in Minnesota where he announced that Zach Fucale will get the start in goal tonight for the Capitals. Laviolette also told media that Connor McMichael will return to the lineup.
Fucale played in relief for the third period of last night’s 5-1 loss to the Blues. He stopped 7 of 7 shots he faced.
Fucale, 26, became the first goaltender in franchise history to record a shutout in his NHL debut when he stopped all 21 shots against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 11 at Little Caesars Arena. In 10 games with the Bears this season, Fucale has posted a record of 6-2-2 with a 2.73 goals-against average and a .889 save percentage.
The Wild will be without quite a few players tonight against the Capitals, due to injuries and COVID.
The following #mnwild players will not play tonight: Nick Bjugstad (upper), Jonas Brodin (upper), Brandon Duhaime (COVID), Joel Eriksson Ek (upper), Alex Goligoski (COVID), Jordan Greenway (COVID), Kirill Kaprizov (upper), Jared Spurgeon (lower) and Cam Talbot (lower).
— Minnesota Wild PR (@mnwildPR) January 8, 2022
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. The 6’2″, 189-pound goaltender played the most games (11) he has played at the AHL level since the 2017-18 season, posting a 9-2-0 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. In 90 career AHL games, Fucale has a 43-36-6 record with a 2.88 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.