The Washington Capitals announced Thursday morning that they have recalled goaltender Zach Fucale from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL).
After a mostly down month of February, Fucale returned to form last Friday with a 34-save shutout of the Utica Comets in Utica. More on Fucale’s month of February can be found in our Monthly prospects report here.
Fucale, 26, has posted a record of 1-1-1 with one shutout, a 1.75 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in four games for the Capitals this season. Fucale 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 his second career NHL start on Jan. 8 against the Minnesota Wild, Fucale broke a Washington franchise record for the longest shutout streak by a goaltender from the start of a tenure with the franchise in the first period, besting Cristobal Huet’s mark of 80:36. In the second period, he broke the NHL record for the longest career-opening shutout sequence. Fucale’s streak ended at 138 minutes and 17 seconds, beating Matt Hackett’s (Minnesota) mark of 102:48 set in 2011.
In 20 games with the Bears this season, Fucale has posted a record of 8-8-4 with a 2.85 goals-against average and a .884 save percentage.
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 100 career AHL games, Fucale has a 45-42-8 record with a 2.89 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.
Hunter Shephard is playing better. Dicey recall.
Hmmm, he’s a feel good story, rooting for the underdog guy, but .884 doesn’t look great, does it? Do the Caps need a new goalie coach too? How do we assess Scott Murray?