Devils vs Rangers opening faceoff line brawl
(Screenshot/ NHL on TNT)

We got an opening faceoff brawl to start the Devils vs Rangers game tonight.

The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers opened their Wednesday night game with an explosive line brawl just two seconds after the puck dropped.

In a true display of bad blood, all 10 skaters on the ice threw down their gloves and started swinging off the opening faceoff. The wild melee resulted in eight ejections.

Rempe vs MacDermid: The Main Event

At the center of the brawl was Rangers forward Matt Rempe and Devils enforcer Kurtis MacDermid, who have a heated history. In their last meeting on March 11, Rempe elbowed Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler in the head, knocking him out of the game. Rempe was suspended four games for the hit.

MacDermid was out for revenge. As soon as the puck hit the ice, he and Rempe squared off in a heavyweight bout. Their fight quickly drew in the other eight skaters, including d-men K’Andre Miller and John Marino.

Check out the Rangers vs Devils line brawl below:


Full Fight Card

  • Kurtis MacDermid vs Matt Rempe
  • Kevin Bahl vs Barclay Goodrow
  • John Marino vs K’Andre Miller
  • Chris Tierney vs Jacob Trouba
  • Curtis Lazar vs Jimmy Vesey

This overhead view, courtesy of Devils beat reporter Ryan Novozinsky, shows all the fights happening at once:

Coaches Clash, Chaos Continues

The chaos spilled over to the benches. Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette and Devils interim coach Travis Green engaged in a heated shouting match as their players brawled.

Just minutes later, with 15:33 left in the first period, Rangers forward Will Cuylle took down Devils defenseman Brendan Smith with a dangerous boarding hit. This sparked yet another fight between Cuylle and Devils forward Dawson Mercer. Mercer was ejected for his role in the altercation.

TNT analyst Colby Armstrong marveled during the intermission, “How awesome is hockey?”

Rivalry Reaches Boiling Point

In total, the officials handed out an astonishing 25 different penalties in the game’s opening five minutes. The brawl accounted for 132 penalty minutes, with Rempe and MacDermid continuing to trade blows at center ice even after the other fights had been broken up.

The contest marked the final meeting this season between the bitter rivals. The Rangers had won all three previous matchups.

Known as the “Battle of the Hudson,” the Devils-Rangers rivalry has produced many memorable clashes over the years. But this chaotic scene was one for the ages, hearkening back to the no-holds-barred days of old-time hockey.

Only in hockey will you witness a full line brawl off the opening faceoff.