DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars’ confrontational style certainly isn’t going to be altered after the reward of a 3-0 Game 3 victory.
“We’re guys who like to play with that aggressive mentality; that’s got us where we are, and we have to keep doing that if we want to stay in this thing,” Stars forward Ryan Garbutt said Wednesday morning before the night’s Game 4 at American Airlines Center.
Garbutt, who was suspended by the NHL earlier this season for an Oct. 20 hit that left then-Ducks forward Dustin Penner with a concussion, slid toward a loose puck Monday and crashed into his ex-Dallas teammate and Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas, breaking his right leg.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Wednesday that Robidas may not require surgery as he did after breaking
the same leg in November.
Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen said considering it was Garbutt in the accident, he “wondered” about the forward’s intent.
Does Garbutt believe he’s getting under the Ducks’ skin?
“I’m not sure about that; it’s a seven-game series, and every game is going to be hard-fought,” Garbutt said. “We definitely want to frustrate them by playing as hard as we can. You have to do whatever you can to win.
“They have good players and coaches over there, and so do we, so that’s how it’ll go the rest of the series.”
The top-seeded Ducks are prepared for a stronger response, Anaheim center Mathieu Perreault said.
“I’m not going to fight anybody, but I can get in somebody’s face, the stick battles -- I don’t mind that kind of game at all,” Perreault said. “They’ve been doing what they do. They have guys who like to do that, but we have guys in here who can do it as well. They’re not going to fight [Ducks forward] Patty Maroon. We can let them do their thing and hurt them by scoring goals.”
Garbutt said he doesn’t much care if some think the Stars are crossing an ethical line, as was suggested when fellow forward Antoine Roussel threw a punch at the face of shielded and stitched-up Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf.
Roussel said he thinks he was punched at by Getzlaf first before delivering the left hand toward the shield.
“I try to protect my goalie and not let in any goal, because he’s a dangerous player and he’s around the net,” Roussel said. “Just like everybody, they don’t like to get hit. I understand that, so it’s the same for us.”
Until the Ducks put up more resistance, Roussel and Garbutt say there’s more pressure coming Wednesday night.
Perreault said if that roughness generates a penalty, the best response is to convert on a power play, which the Ducks failed to do six times Monday.
“We had opportunities; if they take stupid penalties, we have to make them pay,” Perreault said. “We need the bounces … win pucks, get shots. We wanted to win, but it’s just one game. We win tonight, we’re right where we want to be.”
Said Garbutt: “They’re a strong team, we expect them to push back. I wouldn’t say we’ve crossed any line, it’s a playoff series. We’ll do whatever we can to win the series and fight for the second round. [Tonight], we’ll just come out the same way, use the crowd to our advantage and have fun.”
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