ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals have brought another goaltender on board for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, recalling Zach Fucale from the Hershey Bears.
He now joins Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek as the three netminders up at the NHL level. Washington kicks off their postseason against the No. 1 Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
Fucale was one of five netminders on the Bears’ roster. In 31 games with Hershey this season, the 26-year-old went 11-15-5 with a .896 save percentage and 2.62 GAA. He has played in three NHL games this season, going 1-1-1 with a .924 SV% and 1.75 GAA, and he posted a shutout in his NHL debut, becoming the first netminder in franchise history to do so.
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Having Fucale up will give the Capitals more insurance in net. Teams usually have three goaltenders available for the playoff for depth and in case of injury.
Still, Samsonov nor Vanecek has been able to show their worth as the true No. 1 heading into the playoffs. Florida led the league in goals per game this season (4.14), so goaltending will be key in this first-round series. Washington has suffered three consecutive first-round exits since winning the Stanley Cup in 2018.