DALLAS – Antoine Roussel’s running over of goalie Alex Stalock and subsequent sucker punch to the face of Justin Braun late in the Sharks’ 5-3 win over Dallas didn’t sit well with Todd McLellan after the game.
“What disappoints me is when a guy (Braun) is vulnerable and being held and he gets punched. That’s the disappointing thing,” McLellan said. “I don’t think anybody in our league, the 750 players and coaches want to see that. It’s just not a classy moment.”
Stalock, preserving a 4-3 lead at the time, had just gloved an airborne puck and took a few strides from his crease. He attempted to whack the puck out of the zone with the shaft of his stick, but instead it sailed into the crowd for a delay of game penalty.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Burns ignites rally, Sharks beat Stars 5-3]
Roussel, who was charging towards the goalie, hit Stalock up high, knocking him over. It took several moments for Stalock to get up on his skates again, but he remained in the game to finish off his second win.
“I went to play the puck and get it out of the zone, and I don’t know if he elbowed me or punched me, or what,” Stalock said. “I felt it pretty good up high. He plays hard.”
Marc-Edouard Vlasic immediately went after Roussel, and a scrum ensued in the corner. Braun got involved, and ate a knuckle sandwich from the Stars’ penalty minute leader while seemingly being restrained by a linesman.
When asked if Braun was OK after the game, McLellan said: “I don’t know. I have to check with the training staff.”
Logan Couture said he had yet to see a replay of the incident, but commented: “Roussel is kind of known for that.”
Roussel was given a two-minute minor for goalie interference and a game misconduct. Joe Thornton put the game away with an empty-net goal, capping the 5-3 Sharks victory.
Stars coach Lindy Ruff said: “That kid (Roussel) gives me everything, that was just emotion. We still had the power play. We pulled our goalie and we still had the power play. He was laying down blocking shots, he was in front of the net for the power play and he was trying hard. That was just emotion and you can’t criticize [that].”