News & Politics

Capitals Goalie Zach Fucale Makes NHL History

The journeyman became the first in franchise history to post a shutout in their NHL debut.

Last night, Zach Fucale, a 26 year old Canadian journeyman goalie with eight years of experience in the minor leagues, earned a shutout game for the Capitals—becoming the first goaltender in DC hockey history to pull a shutout for his NHL debut. It was also the first time an NHL goalie had done that since 2015 as the Caps took down the Red Wings 2-0.

Vitek Vanecek, one of the Capitals regular goalies, is nursing an injury so Fucale got called up from Hershey, the Caps top minor league team. Fucale was originally a second round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens back in 2013, and has been with the Caps organization since August of 2020, where he’s been outstanding for two of the Capitals minor league affiliates.

The Caps celebrated the achievement from Fucale appropriately.

His postame interview featured him more or less in speechless and in shock. Rarely has a professional athlete felt so relatable.

Fucale’s folks immediately made the trip from Montreal and Toronto and were absolutely adorable.

Postgame, head coach Laviolette gave the game puck to Fucale and he was also awarded with the Capitals shield for defensive performance of the night (more on this).

For the advanced analytics crowd, it was a sparkling performance from the netminder.

Caps legendary radio play-by-play man John Walton was appropriately excited.

Can’t argue this.

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Fucale once Vanecek gets healthy. But he’s certainly earned more looks in the NHL, and nobody can ever take the magical night in Detroit away from him.

Jacob Raim
Director, Digital Products