The Washington Capitals have had chaos in net all season long and of course, that trend continued during their first playoff game.
The Caps lost Vitek Vanecek to injury during the first period, forcing 39-year-old third-stringer, Craig Anderson, to finish the game in net. Anderson was the backup because Ilya Samsonov was in COVID protocol. Anderson went on to win the Capitals the game, stopping 21 of 22 shots and becoming the fourth oldest goaltender in NHL history to win a postseason game in relief. Meanwhile, fourth-string goaltender Pheonix Copley joined the team on the bench during the game as the team’s emergency goalie.
Sunday, more goalie craziness happened. Vanecek’s injury was announced to be day-to-day and Samsonov returned from protocol. Laviolette appeared to tab Anderson as the team’s starter for Game Two (maybe?). After the team’s skate, the Capitals also made a roster move.
The Capitals called up Zach Fucale from Hershey as the Bears played their final game of the season at Giant Center.
ROSTER MOVE #Caps made the following transaction today:
Recalled goaltender Zach Fucale from Hershey (AHL)
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) May 16, 2021
Fucale has been sensational in net for the Bears this season, winning nine of his 11 games. The 2013 second-round pick also posted a 1.80 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. He gave up only 20 goals during his 11 appearances.
Fucale was so good this season that the Capitals aggressively re-signed him to a two-year extension in March – an unusual transaction for a minor-league, depth goalie.
It’s unclear how much, if at all, Fucale will figure into Monday’s Game Two beyond being the Capitals’ emergency goaltender. But with how crazy this season has been, we’ve learned anything’s possible – especially in the Capitals’ twine.
Headline photo courtesy of @zach_fucale/IG
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.