DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars threw more than pucks at Buffalo goalie Dominik Hasek in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Hasek was pounded against the boards, slashed with sticks and skates and run into by Stars and Sabres he said were shoved his way by Dallas players."They pushed me, fell on me," Hasek said following a 4-2 loss Thursday night. "I was on my knees and they pushed my defensemen into me. I don't like it. . . . It's very dangerous."
Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said he believes the Stars were going after his top player. He was especially critical of Brian Skrudland jarring Hasek in open ice, a play that drew a penalty for interference.
"I think it is obviously intent," Ruff said. "Skrudland's only hit of the game just happened to be our goaltender. That's the only guy he can track down."
The NHL released a copy of the rule explaining Skrudland's violation.
"A goalkeeper is NOT 'fair game' just because he is outside the goal crease area," the statement said. "A penalty for interference or charging should be called in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper."
Ruff also criticized Dallas' Mike Modano for "slew-footing" Hasek.
"It was definitely a cheap shot," Ruff said.
Forward Guy Carbonneau said the Stars were trying to harass Hasek, not hurt him.
"We're not trying to run the goalie," he said. "It's in the game plan of every team to screen the goalie and give him trouble."
"If he wandered out of his net, that was one of our focuses was to do that," said Joe Nieuwendyk, who tangled with Hasek several times.
As the first period ended, Nieuwendyk made contact with Hasek twice on the same possession. When the horn sounded, both teams ended up in an all-out brawl. Six players were penalized for 18 minutes because of the melee.
Hasek said he wasn't surprised the Stars were more physical than in Game 1, but he wondered how much of it was legal.Comment on this story
"You have to be ready for everything, even after a whistle," he said. "I think the referees should see it, too."
Hasek admitted he lost his cool after some of the hits. But he doesn't think it led to any of Dallas' three goals against him. The Stars' game-capping score came with an empty net.
"Of course I got mad," he said. "But after a couple of seconds, I focused on the game."
Stars goalie Ed Belfour said he's ready for whatever happens in Game 3.
"Each game will probably get more physical in the corners and in front of the net," Belfour said. "It should make for a great series."