DALLAS -- A little more than 12 hours after the Dallas Stars’ 3-0 win in Game 3, the Anaheim Ducks hit the ice with a renewed focus on matching the Stars’ physical play.
Most of the complaints from the night before morphed into resolve Tuesday. Several Ducks players talked about playing with more of an edge.
“We’ve got to be smart but I think everyone’s got to dig deep here,” Ducks center Andrew Cogliano said. “Including myself, there’s a lot more, a lot of room for us to play harder. The bottom line is they played hard last 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 last night and talking for myself first and foremost, we need to bear down and come to the rink ready to battle, ready to fight hard and we’ll go from there.”
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau thinks there’s an easy way to respond to the physical play: score goals on the power play.
“If you’re not going to make them pay when they’re doing things, automatically they’re going to keep doing things because they have no fear of you,” Boudreau said. “So, that to me is the biggest thing is to score some goals.”
Captain Ryan Getzlaf still wasn’t thrilled with Stars forward Antoine Roussel after the two exchanged some punches in the face in Game 3. Roussel didn’t quit punching even after the linesman attempted to break things up, which led to Roussel getting an extra two minutes in the penalty box.
“Last night, I said what I said in the fact that I don’t believe that that’s part of the game,” Getzlaf said. “I don’t believe that that’s part of getting under somebody’s skin for whatever you want to do. That’s an intent to injure and create those kind of things.
“Those kinds of things, we’ll just deal with as we go. I obviously know now it’s more of a target than I thought it would be. But I’m fine. At the end of the day, I’m OK. Guys play differently in the playoffs -- a little braver than they normally are. And that’s OK. We’ll deal with it as we go.”
So what’s the best way to “deal with it” in Game 4?
“Score goals and win the game,” said Getzlaf, sounding a lot like his coach. “Obviously, we’ve got to go out and compete harder than they’re going to compete within the rules of the game and play hard. It’s a tough league. It’s tough to win in the playoffs. We know that. We’re well aware of what we need to do.
“We need to up our level of our game. We need to compete a little bit harder. Get to that net a little bit harder and create some stuff around their crease so their goalie is not so comfortable. And that involves getting in there, screening, getting second shots.”
“They play hard,” Cogliano said. “They’re not out there doing stupid things and taking a bunch of penalties. They take a few liberties when the time is right. You have to be smart about it. You have to play those guys hard. You have to play their top guys hard.”