Rangers-Devils opens with 5 fights, 8 ejections

NEW YORK — The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils started Wednesday night’s game with a brawl involving all 10 players on the ice off the opening faceoff.

The main event was Rangers forward Matt Rempe taking on New Jersey’s Kurtis MacDermid, with the two having history from the previous time the Devils visited Madison Square Garden on March 11. That night, Rempe refused MacDermid’s offer to fight early in the game. Later in the contest, Rempe knocked Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler out of the game with a high elbow and was subsequently suspended for four games.

Rempe and MacDermid fought the longest on Wednesday as their tussle continued at center ice after the other four fights had ended.

Eight players — four from each team — were ejected after receiving game misconducts 2 seconds into the game, forcing both teams to play with four fewer skaters the rest of the way.

Along with Rempe, New York defensemen Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller and forward Barclay Goodrow were ejected. New Jersey defensemen Kevin Bahl and John Marino, and forwards Chris Tierney and MacDermid also received early exits.

Miller fought Marino, Trouba battled Tierney, Goodrow went against Bahl and Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey fought New Jersey’s Curtis Lazar. Vesey and Lazar remained in the game since they fought first and didn’t receive additional punishment.

All 10 players also received five-minute fighting penalties.

New York’s Will Cuylle also fought New Jersey’s Dawson Mercer at the 4:27 mark of the first period after Cuylle hit the Devils’ Brendan Smith into the boards.

Head coaches Peter Laviolette of the Rangers and New Jersey’s Travis Green were also yelling at each other from their respective benches before play resumed after the fighting. Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin and Devils counterpart Kaapo Kahkonen did not participate in the brawl.

Chris Kreider scored a power-play goal late in the third period and the Rangers rallied to beat the Devils 4-3.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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