Rangers, Devils Open Game With All-Out Brawl Resulting in Eight Ejections

New York Rangers F Matt Rempe and New Jersey Devils F Kurtis Macdermid fight during the first period.
New York Rangers F Matt Rempe and New Jersey Devils F Kurtis Macdermid fight during the first period. / Screenshot via B/R Open Ice

The clash between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils got off to a loud start on Wednesday evening, with eight players getting ejected during the opening moments of the game.

To say there's bad blood between the rival franchises would be an understatement, and that was on display at the Madison Square Garden, as a full line brawl broke out immediately after puck drop.

Both teams started their fourth attacking lines for the game, an unusual move which foreshadowed the mayhem to come. Though the Devils won the opening face-off, it didn't matter considering players from both teams had already dropped their gloves and started to scrap on the ice.

All five players from each team got into it–and even both coaches were seen jawing at one another–though the main attraction was undoubtedly the skirmish between Rangers rookie Matt Rempe and New Jersey's Kurtis MacDermid.

There's plenty of animosity between the two, stemming from an incident during their previous meeting, and they settled the score on Wednesday in emphatic fashion. For what felt like an eternity, the two enforcers battled it out at center ice, unleashing a barrage of haymakers at one another.

After nearly 90 seconds of uninterrupted fisticuffs, MacDermid and Rempe were finally untangled, both appearing to be completely out of gas.

During the most recent edition of the Rangers–Devils rivalry, Rempe was ejected late into the second period after dangerously elbowing Jonas Siegenthaler in the head while attempting to make a hit. Macdermid attempted to fight the 6' 7" rookie in the aftermath but was denied the opportunity by the officials.

The two finally got the chance to square off a few weeks later, and neither party held anything back during what was a chaotic opening sequence to start Wednesday's game.

The eight ejected players included New York's Jacob Trouba, K'Andre Miller, Barclay Goodrow and Rempe, as well as New Jersey's John Marino, Chris Tierney, Kevin Bahl and MacDermid.

Karl Rasmussen


Karl Rasmussen is a writer on Sports Illustrated’s Breaking & Trending News Team. A University of Oregon alum, his work has appeared on 12up and ClutchPoints. He’s a loyal Tottenham, Jets, Yankees and Ducks fan.