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Lightning Round: Former Bolts depth goalie gets shutout in NHL debut

Zachary Fucale made his NHL debut last night against the Detroit Red Wings and posted a 21-save shutout in the 2-0 win, the first goalie to do so since 2015 (Garret Sparks). You might not remember Fucale as a former goalie in the organization, but he did spend a year with the Orlando Solar Bears in 2019-20 and played one whole game with the Syracuse Crunch (not a shutout) on his way through four organizations before finally making his NHL debut.

I know the headline is a massive stretch, but I’m counting it!

Fucale was a touted prospects for the Montreal Canadiens in 2013, but a tumultuous AHL group in Montreal along with growing pains left him gone from the team that drafted him. But after spending a couple seasons in the ECHL, he finally made his way back to the AHL with the Hershey Bears. And when Vitek Vanecek got injured, it was Fucale’s chance, and he made no mistake.

Here is a recap of the night from Russian Machine Never Breaks with all the reactions from the game. [RMNB]

Fucale made 21 saves in the Capitals’ 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings. With the clean sheet, Fucale becomes the first Capitals goaltender in franchise history to pitch a shutout in his NHL debut. He’s also, per the Capitals PR, the the seventh goaltender in NHL history aged 26 or older to earn a shutout in their NHL debut.

“I’ve never been speechless,” Fucale said after the game to NBC Sports Washington. “This is one of the greatest moments of my hockey career… What a great defensive game everybody played here.”

Congrats to Zachary, such a good story and shows that no one should be considered a write-off. I’m excited to see how the rest of his season goes. A night like that can spark confidence that can last for years.

Here’s some pictures from our Tracey who was at the Crunch vs. Comets game. Sorry we stole your goalies, Trace!

In highlights from last night, watch Sergei Bobrovsky get bowled over TWICE in a single overtime. Once by his own forward, Jonathan Huberdeau, and then a second time from Jake Guentzel.

The Colorado Avalanche beat the Vancouver Canucks 7-1 in what might be one of the biggest 5v5 expected goal differences I’ve seen in a while. [Mile High Hockey]

On top of that, the Canucks are now last in a couple pretty major first period stats.

Some background on this last story. TW/SA. After Brad Aldridge left Chicago, he went to go work for a high school hockey team in Michigan. The Chicago team gave him a positive recommendation and didn’t mention the sexual assault on their player, Kyle Beach. Aldridge then sexually assaulted a high schooler, who was named John Doe 2 in the case. Kyle Beach’s attorney asked Chicago to provide therapy to JD2, to which this was their lawyer’s answer.

Apart from how wrong it is to claim someone’s financials are a reason to not need therapy, it’s just so devoid of empathy. Regardless of who’s guilty, do the right thing!

Again and again, thanks to Rick Westhead for his reporting on this.