WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Capitals have brought up another goaltender ahead of Game 3 against the Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon, recalling Hunter Shepard from the AHL’s Hershey Bears.
Shepard’s recall comes one day after Washington re-assigned netminder Zach Fucale to Hershey after Games 1 and 2 in Sunrise. This isn’t the first time Shepard has been called up. The Capitals brought Shepard on board as a member of the taxi squad earlier in the campaign. However, he did not appear in any NHL games.
Washington inked the former Minnesota-Duluth captain and NCAA standout to a two-year contract last summer. He has primarily spent the 2021-22 campaign down in the ECHL with the South Carolina Stingrays, going 12-9-2 with a .917 save percentage and 2.88 GAA. In nine appearances with Hershey this year, Shepard has gone 5-3-0 with a .922 SV% and 2.06 GAA. He backed up Pheonix Copley for Game 1 of the Calder Cup Playoffs on Friday. Hershey fell 3-0 to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Shepard will likely be the third goalie behind Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek. Still, the team’s goaltending situation remains a question ahead of Game 3. In Game 2, Vanecek surrendered five goals on 18 shots, leading to a swap for Samsonov after 40 minutes.