Wednesday’s game between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils saw a heated brawl that resulted in all but two players being ejected. The fight broke out immediately after the puck dropped at Madison Square Garden, with eight players concussed and forced to leave the game. Among those ejected were Rangers’ Jacob Truba, Matt Rempe, K’Andre Miller and Barkley Goodrow, as well as Devils’ John Marino, Chris Tierney, Curtis McDermid and Kevin Ball.

Curtis Lazar of the Devils and Jimmy Vesey of the Rangers were given fighters but were allowed to continue playing because they were considered “first fight.” Other players involved in the fight were ejected for “secondary altercations.” Rempe and MacDermid engaged in a particularly heated fight, marking the third time Rempe has been ejected in games against the Devils. Both selectors, Peter Laviolette and Travis Green, got involved in verbal sparring on the bench during the chaos.

The animosity between the two teams was not unexpected as Laviolette hinted at the competitive nature of division games during practice on Tuesday. Previous incidents involving Rempe’s aggressive play against the Devils likely fueled the tension that led to Wednesday’s brawl. In March, Rempe elbowed Jonas Ziegenthaler causing a concussion earning him a suspension. Before that he was ejected for hitting Nathan Bastian in second game.

In all 5 fights occurred within first two seconds of match start marking most fights in an NHL game since May 2021 . The intense rivalry and history of bad blood between these teams contributed to an explosive start to Wednesday’s game.

By Samantha Johnson

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