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Ducks squawk over Gaustad's hit

Too bad the Anaheim Ducks and Buffalo Sabres don't see each other any more this season because another matchup would be pretty juicy. Both of their meetings were bruising affairs and the Ducks are quacking loudly about the bloody way Tuesday's game in HSBC Arena ended.

Star center Ryan Getzlaf suffered a broken nose on a hit by Buffalo's Paul Gaustad with 15 seconds left and Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said after the game he thought Gaustad should get suspended for a shot to the head off a leave-his-feet check.

Carlyle made similar remarks to the Orange County Register after practice Wednesday in Boston.

"I looked at it and I didn't think he left his feet," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I don't know if Paul even saw [Getzlaf]. Paul turned into the play and when I first saw it I didn't think it was much. Then I saw Getzlaf [bleeding] They must have banged heads. If Paul would have saw him, do you think they would have banged heads? I don't think so.

"There's an aggressive, dirty team that's calling us dirty now, so I like it."

Carlyle wasn't pleased when Ruff's comments were relayed to him by the Register.

"They're entitled to their opinion," Carlyle scoffed. "We're a dirty team? As I said, everybody is entitled to their opinion. All I know is our player received an illegal check with nobody around him, so we'll let the league make the determination."

Gaustad said it was an unintentional hit.

"If [Carlyle] watches the replay, our heads collided," Gaustad said. "I didn't see him. It's unfortunate he got hurt. It caught me off guard a little bit. There was no intent to injure there. There was two of them, one of me and I was just trying to cut to get the puck and I didn't see him cut towards me.

"Unfortunately we're about the same size. He's a big player. Our heads are about the same height and I felt my helmet hit him in the face. Obviously when that happens, something good is not going to happen."

"I didn't have too many thoughts before [watching the video] because I didn't know what really happened," Getzlaf said. "I saw it on video today.

"Hopefully, the league is going to look at it and see what the rest of us see," Getzlaf said. "It definitely looked like a cheap shot. . . . It's kind of hard to say it was anything else."

***

Gaustad was wincing after he took an Ales Kotalik shot on the left foot during a drill but said afterward it was just a stinger and he should be fine tonight.

***

Captain Craig Rivet had a brief players-only meeting on the ice at the end of practice. He wouldn't divulge the topics except to say with a smirk that it was about the team dinner. More likely it was about the Hurricanes' 3-0 win here Feb. 15.

"We're not happy whatsoever the way we played the last time against them in our own building," Rivet said. "I think it was one of the worst games we played all year and it was a big game. So [tonight] we're really looking to get back and play a solid game."

e-mail: mharrington@buffnews.com

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