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Capitals journeyman Fucale makes history with shutout in NHL debut

Dave Reginek / National Hockey League / Getty

More than eight years after being drafted, Zach Fucale won his NHL debut and etched his name in the record books.

The 26-year-old goaltender made 21 saves to help the Washington Capitals defeat the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 on Thursday night. Fucale became the first netminder in Capitals history to notch a shutout in his debut and only the seventh puck-stopper in NHL history at his age or older to do so.

He's the 10th goalie to accomplish the feat since 1996-97.

Fucale's family was on hand to witness his achievement.

The journeyman netminder showed his emotions when asked about it afterward.

Before his NHL debut Thursday, Fucale spent parts of seven seasons playing for numerous teams in the AHL and ECHL. The Montreal Canadiens drafted him 36th overall in 2013.

The Quebec-born netminder ultimately suited up for four QMJHL campaigns before turning pro, guiding the Halifax Mooseheads to the Memorial Cup in 2012-13. He became that team's all-time wins leader in the same campaign.

Fucale also helped Team Canada win gold in historically dominant fashion at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

He played Thursday night because Vitek Vanecek couldn't take part in the team's first game of a back-to-back with Ilya Samsonov serving as the backup. Washington signed Fucale to a two-way contract as a free agent in August.

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