By Ian Oland
The Washington Capitals were busy on Wednesday. After sending Hendrix Lapierre back to junior, general manager Brian MacLellan announced that the team had recalled two players from AHL Hershey: center Aliaksei Protas and goaltender Zach Fucale.
The moves were made after Nic Dowd and Vitek Vanecek suffered injuries against the Buffalo Sabres. While Dowd was placed on injured reserve in a corresponding roster move, Vanecek managed to still practice with the team and take shots.
Protas was placed on the fourth line during line rushes.
Capitals lines at Wednesday’s practice:
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 10, 2021
Monday, Dowd got injured during the second period while skating up the ice. The fourth-line center pulled up lame and crawled back to the bench. Dowd had previously been suffering from a left leg injury that caused him to miss multiple games in late October and early November. Dowd will now be required to miss the next seven days of games at least.
Meanwhile, Vanecek got injured after Jeff Skinner fell on top of his left shoulder during a mad scramble in front of the net in the third period. Vanecek was unable to lift his left arm and kept it low to his side as the team celebrated his victory.
look at my goalies they’re so cute pic.twitter.com/puhJLcfuFm
— ava (@goaliestan_) November 9, 2021
Fucale has been sensational during his time in Hershey this season, posting a 3-0-2 record with a 1.73 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.
More from the Capitals:
Capitals Recall Forward Aliaksei Protas and Goaltender Zach Fucale
Nic Dowd placed on Injured Reserve
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled center Aliaksei Protas and goaltender Zach Fucale from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. In addition, center Nic Dowd was placed on the Injured Reserve list.
Protas, 20, made his NHL debut on Nov. 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. In eight games with the Bears this season, Protas has recorded five points (1g, 4a).
The 6’6″, 225-pound center recorded 18 points (10g, 8a) in 58 regular season games with Dinamo Minsk during the 2020-21 season. The Vitebsk, Belarus, native tied for fifth on the team in goals and tied for eighth in points, despite ranking 15th in time on ice per game (12:52) among Dinamo Minsk skaters with at least 30 games played. Protas was re-assigned to Hershey on March 18 and made his AHL debut on March 31. He recorded seven points (2g, 5a) in 16 games with Hershey. Additionally, Protas represented Belarus at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, recording two assists in six games.
Fucale, 26, is 3-0-2 with Hershey this season with a 1.73 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. The 6’2”, 189-pound goaltender is tied for second in the AHL in goals-against average among goaltenders with at least five games played.
During the 2020-21 season, the Laval, Quebec, native led the AHL in goals-against average (1.80) and ranked second in save percentage (.932), establishing career highs in both categories. Fucale played 11 games with Hershey, the most games he has played at the AHL level since the 2017-18 season, posting a 9-2-0-1 record. Fucale’s nine wins were tied for eighth in the AHL, while his two losses were the fewest among goaltenders with at least 660 minutes played. Fucale and Pheonix Copley received the AHL’s Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award, presented to the goaltenders on the team which allows the fewest goals per game in the regular season.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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