Rangers-Devils game descends into chaos with insane line brawl in opening seconds


This was building up all season long.

Deploying their fourth lines to start their third and final meeting of the season, with the Rangers’ face-puncher Matt Rempe on one side and the Devils’ enforcer Kurtis MacDermid on the other, a five-on-five line brawl ensued off the opening faceoff in a chaotic scene at center ice of Madison Square Garden on Wednesday before the Blueshirts won, 4-3

Rempe, who had been ejected in each of the previous two meetings (and then suspended for four games in the latter contest) for hits that knocked Devils players out for extended periods of time, took on MacDermid. 

K’Andre Miller squared off with John Marino.

Jimmy Vesey fought Curtis Lazar. 

Barclay Goodrow dropped the gloves with Kevin Bahl.

Captain Jacob Trouba went at it with Chris Tierney. 

A fight breaks out between New York Rangers center Matt Rempe #73 and New Jersey Devils defenseman Kurtis MacDermid. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Matt Rempe continued his fighting ways against the Devils. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Rempe got into the fight just two seconds into Wednesday’s game. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Matt Rempe has just played a little over five minutes total in three games against the Devils. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
The line brawl led to 132 minutes of penalties. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Matt Rempe #73 of the New York Rangers reacts after a fight against the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden. NHLI via Getty Images

Since Vesey and Lazar were the first to drop the gloves, everybody else got hit with game misconducts for secondary fighting.

The Rangers lost Miller, Trouba, Rempe and Goodrow, while the Devils lost MacDermid, Marino, Bahl and Tierney. 

Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette and Devils interim coach Travis Green then started jawing at one another from their respective benches. 

“Our guys were reacting to what was happening on the ice,” said Laviolette, who said he did not know the line brawl was going to happen. “I thought they did a fantastic job. All five of them.”

In three games against the Devils this season, Rempe finished with 47 penalty minutes, two fights and three game misconducts in 5:03 of ice time.