Rangers, Devils Players Brawl on the Ice Seconds Into Game

Wendell Cruz-USA Today Sports
Wendell Cruz-USA Today Sports

Tensions were high during the opening face off in Wednesday night’s NHL game between the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers, which saw all 10 on-ice skaters brawl mere seconds into play.

Each player received a five-minute fighting penalty, and eight of them—four from each team—were ejected, the Associated Press noted. The fighting pair that engaged first, Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey and Devils center Curtis Lazar, were allowed to remain in the game.

The longest-lasting fight was between New York’s Matt Rempe and the Devils’ Kurtis MacDermid. During the pair’s previous encounter at Madison Square Garden, Rempe turned down MacDermid’s offer to fight, according to the AP. Later in that game, Rempe hit MacDermid’s teammate, defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler, with a high elbow, leading to a four-game suspension.

Neither team’s goalie participated in the fighting.

The Rangers won the game 4-3 after a power-play goal by left winger Chris Kreider with just under five minutes remaining in the third period. The Rangers’ win earned them a 4-0 season series sweep of their border state rival.

The Rangers, who lead the Eastern Conference’s Metropolitan division, have clinched a playoff berth, while the Devils are behind five other teams seeking a Wild Card spot. Six games remain for them in the regular season.

In last year’s playoffs, New Jersey knocked out the Rangers in the first round in a series that went seven games.

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