April 23, 2024 2:01 pm
Eight players ejected after line brawl at start of Rangers vs Devils game

The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils began their matchup on Wednesday with a brawl at Madison Square Garden, resulting in the ejection of all but two players. The fight erupted immediately after the puck dropped, with eight players receiving fighting majors and being forced to leave the game.

Among those ejected were Jacob Trouba and Matt Rempe from the Rangers, as well as John Marino, Chris Tierney, Kurtis MacDermid, and Kevin Bahl from the Devils. Curtis Lazar and Jimmy Vesey received fighting majors but were allowed to continue playing as they were considered the “first fight.”

The animosity between the two teams was not unexpected, as head coach Peter Laviolette had hinted at the competitive nature of division games during a practice the day before. Previous incidents involving Rempe’s aggressive play against the Devils likely fueled the tension that led to the brawl. In March, Rempe elbowed Jonas Siegenthaler, causing a concussion and earning himself a suspension. Before that, he was ejected for a hit on Nathan Bastian in another game.

Overall, the Rangers and Devils engaged in five fights within the first two seconds of the game, marking

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