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The Washington Capitals made a surprise call before taking the field against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Zach Fucale led by Hershey’s team.

It’s unclear at this point if Charlie Lindgren or Hunter Shepard are out tonight.

RMNB reader Cathy, who was at practice this morning, told us Shepard took off the mask and immediately walked off the ice.

Fucale started Friday night against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, making 23 saves in the Bears’ 3-1 loss. Fucale went 1-1-1 in four appearances with the Capitals last season, posting a .924 save percentage and a 1.75 GAA.

The Hershey Bears play the WBS Penguins twice (Friday and Saturday) and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Sunday in a three-on-three weekend. The Bears responded to the move by signing Padraig Carey as the team’s emergency back-up.

Rookie goaltender Clay Stevenson is staying with the Bears. He’s a week removed from winning his AHL debut, 3-2.

We present the press release of the capital in full.

Capitals recall Zach Fucal from Hershey

ARLINGTON, Va. 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 McLellan announced today.

Fucale, 27, has a 10-6-1 record with one shutout, a 2.60 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage in 17 games with Hershey this season. The 6’2”, 193-pound goaltender is tied for third in the AHL in wins and shutouts.

Fucale appeared in four games for Washington during the 2021-22 season, posting a 1-1-1 record with a 1.75 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. Fucale stopped all 21 shots faced in his NHL debut with the Capitals on November 11, 2021 at Detroit, becoming the first Capital in franchise history to record a shutout in his debut. In addition, Fucale set the NHL record for the longest career opening streak (138:07), eclipsing former Minnesota Wild goaltender Matt Hackett’s mark of 102:48 by more than 35 minutes on Jan. 8 in Minnesota.

Laval (Quebec) appeared in 31 games with Hershey in 2021/22, posting an 11-15-5 record with a 2.62 goals-against average and .896 save percentage. The 6’2”, 189-pound goaltender recorded three shutouts to lead Hershey and set an AHL single-season career high. In 128 career AHL games with Hershey, Syracuse Crunch, Chicago Wolves, Laval Rocket and St. With the St. John’s IceCaps, Fucale posted a 58-55-10 record with seven shutouts, a 2.79 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage.

Fucale was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round, 36th overall, in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Updated, 6:45 p.m. Fucale’s recall was necessitated by an injury to Hunter Shepard. Shepard will not play due to an upper body injury and is day to day.

Header photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB


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