The Washington Capitals announced Saturday afternoon that they have recalled goaltender Zach Fucale from Hershey. The callup is likely in response to the injury sustained by Darcy Kuemper, who left early from Saturday’s practice with an upper body injury.
Darcy Kuemper left Capitals practice. Appeared not to be feeling well. Didn’t see something specific happen to him.
A brief chat with coach Peter Laviolette and left
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) March 18, 2023
Fucale has been the number two goaltender in Hershey, behind Hunter Shepard (14-6-5-1, 2.23 GAA, .912 sv%) for a majority of the season. However, in recent weeks Fucale has begun receiving a majority of the number one starts, as it could be argued he has been the hotter of the two netminders over the last month.
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The Washington Capitals have recalled goaltender Zach Fucale from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Fucale, 27, has posted a record of 19-10-2 with one shutout, a 2.57 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage in 33 games with Hershey this season. The 6’2″, 193-pound goaltender ranks tied for sixth in the AHL in wins.
Fucale appeared in four games with Washington during the 2021-22 season, posting a record of 1-1-1 with a 1.75 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. Fucale stopped all 21 shots faced in his NHL and Capitals debut at Detroit on Nov. 11, 2021, becoming the first Capital in franchise history to record a shutout in his debut. Additionally, Fucale set an NHL record for the longest career-opening shutout sequence (138:07), passing former Minnesota Wild goaltender Matt Hackett’s mark of 102:48 by over 35 minutes at Minnesota on Jan. 8.
The Laval, Quebec native appeared in 31 games with Hershey in 2021-22, posting an 11-15-5 record with a 2.62 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage. The 6’2″, 189-pound goaltender recorded three shutouts, which led Hershey and set an AHL single-season career high. In 144 career AHL games with Hershey, the Syracuse Crunch, Chicago Wolves, Laval Rocket and St. John’s IceCaps, Fucale has a record of 67-59-11 with seven shutouts, a 2.76 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.
Fucale was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round, 36th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.
The Capitals are traveling to Minnesota this afternoon in advance of their Sunday afternoon tilt with the Wild. Puck drop is scheduled for 2PM ET.
In response to the Fucale callup, Hershey signed goaltender Bailey Brkin from the Reading Royals (ECHL) to a professional tryout on Saturday afternoon. Hunter Shepard, who started Friday night against Lehigh Valley, will get the start in goal again on Saturday night against Rochester.
By Jon Sorensen