Ryan Getzlaf just couldn’t take it anymore. So, he began punching back.
The Dallas Stars seemed intent on disrupting and frustrating the star players of the Anaheim Ducks – the perfect case in point coming late in the second period when Stars’ forward Antoine Roussel and Ducks’ captain Getzlaf began exchanging punches with their gloves still on, causing a massive melee.
Getzlaf is still wearing a protective visor down by his jaw, after he took a puck to the face in the series opener last week. The Stars won their first playoff game since 2008, skating to a 3-0 victory on Monday.
“I’m pretty sure if you watch the scrums, our guys got punched in the face a few times,” said Stars head coach Lindy Ruff afterward, as per the Associated Press. “Eventually you’re going to punch back. … For us, we know we’ve got a good skating team and I think that we can frustrate.”
Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau also offered his opinion on the matter.
“We’ve warned the refs about them, anyway. It’s just something that I guess you do anything to win, but it’s not something that I think our team would do,” he said afterward, as per the Dallas Morning News.
“We’ll take them and be as physical and be as mean as they want, but obviously they know there’s something wrong with his jaw, so they’re going after it.”
Getzlaf was dominant in Game 2, but didn’t have nearly the impact in Game 3, with more penalty minutes (only two) than shots on goal (only one).
“You’ve got to stay as disciplined as you can, but you have to protect yourself, too. I never expected them to target my face that much,” said Getzlaf.
The experience in a losing cause is apparently, at least based on the post-game comments of the Anaheim players, setting the table for a spirited fourth game in this series, with the Ducks still leading two-games-to-one.
“They’re going to get in our best player’s face, I guess Wednesday night we’re going to have to do the same thing,” said Ducks’ forward Patrick Maroon, as per Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.
Maroon added: “We’re going to have to show that intensity. We can’t let that happen to our star players. They’ll get it.”