Capitals Call Up Goalie Ahead of Game 3

The Washington Capitals have made a goaltending move ahead of Game 3 of their series with the Florida Panthers. It is unlikely to affect the on-ice product, however. The Caps have recalled Hunter Shepard from the Hershey Bears.

It's true that starter Vitek Vanacek was pulled after two periods in Washington's 5-1 loss in Game 2, but Shepard is still likely to serve as the 3rd goalie at this point. Ilya Samsonov got the start in Game 3 on Saturday.

The Caps sent backup Zachary Fucale down to Hershey on Friday, where he's spent most of his season, posting a 2.62 GAA with an .896 save percentage, while going 11-15-5. 

Fucale holds the distinction of becoming the first Capitals goalie in history to record a shutout in his first NHL start, back on Nov. 11th. And in his 2nd start, he continued his shutout streak into the 2nd period, broke the NHL record for the longest career-opening shutout sequence. Fucale’s streak ended at 138 minutes and 17 seconds. 

Shepard delivered an impressive 2.06 GAA with Hershey in the AHL this season in 8 games, with an equally impressive .922 save percentage. He also was strong in 23 games in ECHL this season, with a 2.88 GAA and a .917 save percentage. 

He'll serve now as insurance for the Caps, as they play Game 3 of their series in Washington on Saturday. 

Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports