Stars’ Antoine Roussel ignites new rivalry with Blackhawks
By Mark Lazerus Staff Reporter December 10, 2013 10:35PM
The facts: 7 p.m., NBCSN, 720-AM.
Updated: December 11, 2013 12:05AM
DALLAS — The last time the Blackhawks saw Stars forward Antoine Roussel — just a week ago, actually — he was taunting the United Center crowd after scoring what proved to be the game-winning goal on a penalty shot. This on the same night he and Andrew Shaw had a furious fight for the ages. Oh, he also elbowed Jonathan Toews in the head.
So was he expecting any form of retribution Tuesday night in Dallas?
“I guess we’ll see,” he said before the game
Added Hawks enforcer Brandon Bollig: “I’m sure he is, which he should be. But who knows? Our main focus is coming here, getting the win and the two points, and anything else that follows will follow.”
When you play a team four times in a month, plenty of things tend to follow. And while Tuesday’s game proved rather tame, a quirk of the schedule — this was the Hawks’ third trip to Dallas since Nov. 9
— has turned unfamiliar foes into real rivals. Roussel said it felt like a playoff series and the Hawks agreed.
“Absolutely,” Bollig said. “Any time you see a team this many times in a short amount of time, it definitely creates that bad blood. And it’s fun. It’s great for us, and it’s great for the fans.”
Roussel seems to be the catalyst, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since Shaw said the two were very similar, and that the fight came because “everyone was fed up with me and him.”
Roussel took it as a compliment.
“I wish he was on our team,” he said of Shaw. “He’s a great player, but he’s one the other team.”
Roussel scored both of the Stars’ goals.
Michael Kostka is on a two-game goal-scoring streak. It just took him nearly two months to do it.
The defenseman scored (and later added an assist) in his first game since Oct. 19 against Toronto, when he scored his first career goal. He was hurt blocking a shot with his foot in a morning skate in Florida on Oct. 22. A two-game conditioning assignment in Rockford helped with his timing, he said.
“I got a lot of ice time [in Rockford], which was great,” he said. “The more you play, the better off you are. The second game, I felt a lot smoother.”