The Lost Caps Vitek Vanecek injured in the first period, forcing 39-year-old third player Craig Anderson to end the game in the net. Anderson was the backup because Ilya Samsonov was in the COVID protocol. Anderson won the game against the Capitals, stopping 21 of 22 shots and becoming the fourth-oldest goaltender in NHL history to win a relief playoff game. Meanwhile, fourth-string goalie Pheonix Copley joined the team on the bench during the game as the team’s emergency keeper.
On Sunday, more goalie madness happened. Vanecek’s injury was reported as daily and Samsonov returned from protocol. Laviolette appeared to classify Anderson as the squad starter for Game 2 (maybe?). After the team skating, the Capitals also made a roster change.
The Capitals called Zach Fucale of Hershey as the Bears played their last game of the season at the Giant Center.
MOVING THE ROSTER #Caps made the following transaction today:
Recalled goalie Zach Fucale from Hershey (AHL)
– CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) May 16, 2021
Fucale has been sensational at net for the Bears this season, winning nine of its 11 games. The 2013 second-round pick also posted a 1.80 goals against average and .932 save percentage. He has given up just 20 goals in his 11 appearances.
Fucale has been so good this season that the Capitals aggressively rehired him for a two-year extension in March – an unusual trade for a deep minor league goaltender.
It’s unclear how much, if at all, Fucale will feature in Monday’s Game 2 besides being the Capitals emergency goaltender. But with the craziness of this season, we’ve learned that anything is possible, especially in the Capitals’ string.
Title photo courtesy of @ zach_fucale / IG