Rangers make points with their fists and play in win over Devils

It was a blast from Battle of the Hudson past, but everything the Rangers did for each other in the first two seconds of Wednesday’s game at the Garden wouldn’t have been worth more than the actual bucket heat, uh, saliva if the Blueshirts hadn’t won the game.

Because the Rangers are looking for points to clinch first place in the NHL, Eastern Conference and Metro Division without needing to prove their manhood. That’s apparently what the also-ran Devils thought of their night after Matt Rempe concussed two teammates in two games without having to take off the gloves.

Head coach Peter Laviolette did New Jersey a favor by reinserting Rempe into the lineup after three straight healthy scratches. Devils interim head coach Travis Green started his fourth line which included vengeful Kurtis MacDermid, who lined up opposite Rempe. The two men exchanged words in the circle, referee Gord Dwyer skated over to chat with the gentlemen and then dropped the puck.

As Rempe and MacDermid dropped their gloves and started circling, New Jersey’s Curtis Lazar jumped Jimmy Vesey, and a line brawl ensued at 0:02, just as there was a line brawl between these teams at the Garden at the foot of the wall. puck at the Garden on March 19, 2012.

But it was different. These three fights had broken out simultaneously. On Wednesday, Rempe-MacDermid only started after Vesey and Lazar fought. Each devil chose a training partner. All other fights followed. As such, they were all side fights. Each participant was therefore assigned a game fault. (Rempe, it should be noted, did very well in the fight which lasted almost 60 seconds.)

Each team would only have 10 attackers and four defenders for the remaining 59:58. Only the Rangers lost their defensive duo of Jacob Trouba and K’Andre Miller. Chances are, if Laviolette had expected these losers’ response to Rempe — my words, not the coach’s — he wouldn’t have started this pair.

Matt Rempe drops the gloves and fights Kurtis MacDermid just seconds after the Rangers’ 4-3 win over the Devils. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

That’s probably why Laviolette was furious enough to rush to the bench and direct angry words at Green, just like John Tortorella did to Peter DeBoer 12 years ago. Asked about this, Laviolette spoke of “emotion” before wanting to know if his answer was “pretty vague?”

The Rangers defended themselves. They received praise for their troubles. But more important were the two points they earned by overcoming a 3-2 deficit late in the second period to score twice in the third for a 4-3 victory that increased the club’s lead Metro five points on the Canes and the East. lead to three points on the Bruins.

They had blown a 2-0 first-period lead by allowing three goals on six shots at 9:13 of the second period. They seemed flat. They appeared in danger of losing their second home game in three days to teams excluded from the playoffs after Monday’s loss to Pittsburgh. A fall to second place could result in a first-round meeting with Tampa Bay. It’s definitely not what everyone wants.

So the 14 of the Blueshirts strapped in and got to work. Kaapo Kakko, who had played only 8:00 in the second period despite a short bench, equalized with a shot from the left wing at 5:32 before Chris Kreider – a goat on New Jersey’s third goal – scores on a power-play deflection at 15:03 for the lead and victory.

The Rangers and Devils engage in several fights just after the faceoff early in the Blueshirts’ victory over their rivals. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“We didn’t come out to make fun of the game,” said Adam Fox, who took the shot that Kreider scored on, after getting 29:39 of ice time. “The guys stood up for another, you knew they wanted an answer for the shot and Remp said that and the other guys had to step up and support each other and that’s what they did.”

The Rangers’ last line brawl took place on May 5, 2021 against the Caps, also at the Garden, two days after Tom Wilson choked Artemi Panarin. Laviolette was on the other bench at the time. But this match turned into a 60-minute street fight. It calmed down immediately after the fight and became a hockey match.

The Battle of the Hudson is full of extracurricular activities. There was a time when Scott Niedermayer used his skate to kick Valeri Kamensky’s jersey after it tore off during a scuffle with the New Jersey Hall of Fame defenseman during an exhibition game at the Garden before the 1999-2000 season.

Scott Niedermayer used his skate to hit Valeri Kamensky’s jersey after it was torn off during a scuffle during an exhibition game at the Garden before the 1999-2000 season. Getty Images

It was a year or two before Scott Stevens made an “L” sign with his fingers above his head in the Meadowlands penalty box towards Theo Fleury after an altercation with the Rangers winger.

And the line brawl between the Devils and Rangers in 2012 reached the climax of a six-game series featuring fights in the first three seconds of three of those contests. It was not this. This was a New Jersey team that soiled the sheets this season seeking some sort of revenge for… Rempe?

Clips of the fight will undoubtedly go viral. This will be one of the stories of the Battle of the Hudson that will be told forever. Few people will remember the result, even if it was the most important thing.

New York Post

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