DALLAS -- Physical play gets ratcheted up come playoff time, but the Anaheim Ducks thought things got a little out of hand with how the Dallas Stars poked, prodded and punched captain Ryan Getzlaf during Game 3 of the teams' first-round series Monday.
Late in the second period, with the Stars up 2-0, there was a scrum behind the net and Stars winger Antoine Roussel flicked Getzlaf's face mask and Getzlaf punched Roussel in the face. Roussel then hit Getzlaf in the face a few times as players from both teams jumped into the fray.
"Well, I mean I think it was pretty obvious out there," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked if the physical play crossed the line. "We've warned the refs about them. It's just something that I guess you do anything to win, but it's not something that I think our team would do. 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's jaw was injured in Game 1, when he was hit by a Tyler Seguin slap shot near the end of the game.
"You've got to stay as disciplined as you can, but you've got to protect yourself, too," Getzlaf said. "That's part of the game. Obviously, I never expected them to target my face that much, but that's the way it goes I guess."
Stars coach Lindy Ruff seemed surprised by how upset the Ducks were about the physical play.
"I don't really know what the Ducks thought, but we tried to play hard," Ruff said. "We tried to play the man. There were a couple of scrums that I'm pretty sure if you watch the scrums our guys got punched in the face a few times in those scrums. When you're getting punched in the face, eventually you are going to punch back. Talk to the team -- playoff hockey is emotional.
"For us, we've got a good skating team and I think we can frustrate [opponents], and part of being physical is you have to get there. I thought our legs were going and I thought there were times they were strong down low and I thought there was a little bit of trade-off in that. I don't think either team really crossed the line. I just thought it was playoff hockey."
Roussel felt things heated up after Getzlaf punched him, catching him a little off guard.
"He's a character guy," Roussel said. "He's such a great player and he gets some aggressiveness, some character that he has. He kind of stands up for himself when it's time, too. I was surprised and not surprised at the same time."
Anaheim leads the best-of-7 series 2-1.
So what's the best way to "deal with it" in Wednesday's Game 4?
"Score goals and win the game," said Getzlaf. "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."