DALLAS – Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf was asked about the Dallas Stars trying to get under his skin or into his head with their physical play in Game 3.
“Trying to hit my head how about?” the already stitched-up and visor-protected Getzlaf responded Tuesday. ” I don’t know about get in my head. I don’t have enough room for them to get in my head. Trust me.”
Getzlaf said it was obvious by the Ducks’ 3-0 loss in Dallas, after a pair of one-goal victories at home to start the series, that they need to compete “a little bit harder.” He also talked about playing “within the rules of the game” in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series Wednesday night.
The Ducks clearly took exception to how physical the Stars came out in their first home playoff game in six years, especially against the Anaheim captain who took a puck to the face in the series opener before attending the birth of his third child.
There were plenty of scrums in Game 3, including one stoppage late in the second period with Anaheim’s dynamic scoring duo of Getzlaf and Corey Perry were exchanging punches with different Dallas players. Antoine Roussell delivered a left to Getzlaf’s head.
“I think our guys Corey and Ryan have done a good job turning the other cheek, quite frankly,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. “When you start getting suckered in a place that you’ve got a big bar to protect your jaw, you’ve got to fight back or eventually it’s going to get hurt more. Unfortunately, that’s what happens. … It’s playoff hockey. You do what you do. You pinpoint that guy’s weakness and you go after it.”
Dallas coach Lindy Ruff said he watched most of the physical situations from Game 3, and he didn’t see anything more than playoff hockey that he expects to get even more physical as the series progresses. At times, he said, he felt Anaheim got the benefit of calls—the Ducks did have five power plays in Game 3.
“I think that they’re going to be trying to be harder on our guys, and our guys are going to be ready for it,” Ruff said. “We’re going to try to be harder on their guys, and I don’t think we crossed the line in any means. Not at all.”
Roussel said he was just trying to prevent a goal before the confrontation with Getzlaf.
“Emotion gets in the way I guess,” Roussel said after the Stars’ optional skate Tuesday.
“I saw Roussel, a little bit of a light wash to the face, but it wasn’t a punch until he got hit with six punches,” Ruff said.
Getzlaf knows the best response for the Ducks will be to score goals and win Game 4.
“We’ve got to be smart, but I think everyone’s got to dig deep here,” centre Andrew Cogliano said. “There’s a lot more, a lot of room for us to play harder. The bottom line is they played hard (Monday) night. They got under guys’ skin, they played playoff hockey and I don’t think we did that. I think we played a regular-season game. … We need to bear down and come to the rink ready to battle, ready to fight hard and we’ll go from there.”
Stars captain Jamie Benn said his team won’t be changing its game because of anything Anaheim is saying or claiming.
“We’re going to play the same way,” he said. “We’re going to focus in on their top guys, and find a way to shut them down.”