The Washington Capitals announced on Thursday afternoon that they have sent goaltender Zach Fucale and defenseman Gabriel Carlsson back to the Hershey Bears.
The moves come as both John Carlson and Darcy Kuemper are ready to make their respective returns from injury against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Capitals needed an open roster spot to be able to activate Carlson from long-term injured reserve.
NEWS | The Capitals have loaned goaltender Zach Fucale and defenseman Gabriel Carlsson to the Hershey Bears.https://t.co/MIWkSctpfI
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 23, 2023
Fucale had been called up purely to serve as Charlie Lindgren’s backup with Kuemper out for two games. He did not see any game action and will return to a Hershey Bears team directly in the midst of the final stretch run toward the AHL playoffs.
In 33 games for Hershey this season, Fucale has posted a 19-10-2 record with a 2.57 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage.
Unlike Fucale, Carlsson saw a lot of NHL ice after his March 3 recall. The Swedish blueliner got into six games and posted two assists.
The Caps struggled mightily with Carlsson on the ice at five-on-five, seeing just 40.4 percent of the shot attempts, 33.3 percent of the expected goals, 36.9 percent of the scoring chances, and 36.2 percent of the high-danger chances.
Here’s the press release from the Caps:
Capitals Loan Zach Fucale and Gabriel Carlsson to Hershey
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have loaned goaltender Zach Fucale and defenseman Gabriel Carlsson to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Fucale, 27, has posted a record of 19-10-2 with one shutout, a 2.57 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage in 33 games with Hershey this season. The 6’2″, 193-pound goaltender ranks tied for sixth in the AHL in wins.
Fucale appeared in four games with Washington during the 2021-22 season, posting a record of 1-1-1 with a 1.75 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. Fucale stopped all 21 shots faced in his NHL and Capitals debut at Detroit on Nov. 11, 2021, becoming the first Capital in franchise history to record a shutout in his debut. Additionally, Fucale set an NHL record for the longest career-opening shutout sequence (138:07), passing former Minnesota Wild goaltender Matt Hackett’s mark of 102:48 by over 35 minutes at Minnesota on Jan. 8.
The Laval, Quebec native appeared in 31 games with Hershey in 2021-22, posting an 11-15-5 record with a 2.62 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage. The 6’2″, 189-pound goaltender recorded three shutouts, which led Hershey and set an AHL single-season career high. In 144 career AHL games with Hershey, the Syracuse Crunch, Chicago Wolves, Laval Rocket and St. John’s IceCaps, Fucale has a record of 67-59-11 with seven shutouts, a 2.76 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.
Fucale was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round, 36th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Carlsson, 26, has recorded two assists in six games with Washington this season. Carlsson made his Capitals debut and recorded his first career multi-point game on March 4 at San Jose.
The 6’5″, 207-pound defenseman has recorded 13 points (1g, 12a) in 47 games with Hershey this season. Carlsson has posted a team-high +22 plus/minus rating and ranks third among Bears defensemen in assists and fourth in points.
The Orebro, Sweden native recorded nine points (2g, 7a) in 38 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2021-22, establishing single-season career highs in goals, assists, points and games played, while leading Blue Jackets defensemen in plus/minus (+6). Carlsson also appeared in two games with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters last season, where he registered two assists.
Carlsson has recorded 18 points (3g, 15a) in 81 career NHL games with Columbus. In 193 career AHL games with Hershey and Cleveland, Carlsson has recorded 45 points (7g, 38a).
Carlsson was selected by Columbus in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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