The Washington Capitals have recalled goaltender Zach Fucale from the AHL’s Hershey Bears prior to Friday’s showdown against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Per the team, it is a precautionary measure as Washington plays back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday, facing Pittsburgh at home and then Buffalo on the road.
Fucale made his long-awaited NHL debut back on Nov. 11, impressing by stopping all 21 shots against. He is the first netminder in Capitals franchise history to record a shutout in his first career start.
The 26-year-old has an impressive resume that includes over eight years of experience at the AHL level. This season, he is 4-1-2 with a .898 save percentage and 2.63 GAA. Last season, Fucale led the AHL in GAA (1.80) and ranked second league-wide in save percentage (.932).
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It’s unclear what the reason for the call-up is. Both Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek were on the ice for practice on Thursday. Washington’s morning skate is at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.
The Capitals are currently dealing with a mix of injuries and COVID-19 issues, with Nic Dowd, Garnet Hathaway and Trevor van Riemsdyk on the COVID protocol. Carl Hagelin missed Thursday’s skate with an illness but tested negative for coronavirus.