That meant the Caps needed an emergency goalie, and 6-foot-7 Gavin McHale fit the bill.
McHale, signed on an amateur tryout contract, is the goaltending coach for the University of Manitoba's women's hockey team.
McHale, 31, bounced around in Canada's lower leagues -- the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, the Alberta Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League -- for six years and played two games for the University of Manitoba in 2008-09, allowing eight goals on 24 shots.
It's not his first stint as an emergency goalie. On Feb. 16 of last season, he was called into service by the Colorado Avalanche for the third period of a game in Winnipeg. He did not enter the game.
Copley made 26 saves in the Caps' 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.