Ahead of their opening night matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals announced that they have recalled goaltender Clay Stevenson from the Hershey Bears and have loaned forward Aliaksei Protas to Hershey.
NEWS | The Washington Capitals have recalled goaltender Clay Stevenson from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League and have loaned forward Aliaksei Protas to Hershey.https://t.co/4yO6xIDENP
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 13, 2023
In Thursday’s practice, Protas skated on a line with Dylan Strome and Sonny Milano. However, during Friday’s morning skate he was skating with the extras. Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery did not definitively say that Thursday’s line combinations were going to be the lineup against Pittsburgh.
With Protas being loaned to Hershey, it appears that Anthony Mantha will suit up. Mantha was rotating in with the fourth line composed of Beck Malenstyn, Nic Dowd and Matthew Phillips. The Caps had to send Protas down in order to make room for Stevenson.
Stevenson’s call up is probably temporary. Darcy Kuemper and his wife Sydney announced the birth of their first child. Carbery said “we will see how today goes,” and is prepared to make adjustments as needed. But with Stevenson being called up, it looks like Charlie Lindgren will get the starting job and Stevenson will be the No. 2.
Friday’s matchup against Pittsburgh begins at 7:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled goaltender Clay Stevenson from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and have loaned forward Aliaksei Protas to Hershey, president of hockey operations and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Stevenson, 24, appeared in 36 games for the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) last season, posting a record of 19-12-3-1 with a 2.54 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and three shutouts. The 6’4”, 185-pound goaltender ranked second among ECHL goaltenders in goals-against average, tied for fifth in shutouts and seventh in save percentage. In addition, Stevenson posted a 2-1-2 record with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in five Kelly Cup Playoff games.
The Drayton Valley, Alberta native also posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in three games with Hershey in 2022-23. Stevenson made his AHL debut on Dec. 10, 2022, against the Cleveland Monsters, stopping 25 of 27 shots.
The Capitals signed Stevenson to a two-year entry-level contract on March 28, 2022, following his sophomore season at Dartmouth (NCAA). Stevenson earned six of Dartmouth’s seven wins during the 2021-22 season, leading the Big Green in wins, save percentage (.922), goals-against average (2.70) and shutouts (2). Stevenson posted a save percentage above .900 in all 23 games he played and his .922 save percentage was tied for second in the ECAC. Stevenson, who won the Phelan Award as Dartmouth’s MVP, was named to the 2021-22 All-Ivy First Team, the ECAC All-Rookie Team and the ECAC Third All-Star Team.
Stevenson will wear number 33 with the Capitals.
Protas, 22, recorded 15 points (4g, 11a) in 58 games with Washington in 2022-23. The 6’6”, 237-pound forward established NHL single-season career highs in goals, assists, points, games played and shots (83). In 91 career games with the Capitals, Protas has registered 24 points (7g, 17a) while averaging 11:38 time on ice per game.
The Minsk, Belarus native added five points (2g, 3a) in nine regular-season games with Hershey and 13 points (5g, 8a) in 20 playoff games during Hershey’s run to the Calder Cup championship. During the playoffs, Protas was tied for the team lead in power-play goals (2), tied for second in goals and tied for third in points.
By Jacob Cheris