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Chaos ensues at puck drop between New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils as 10 players brawl

<i>Mary Altaffer/AP via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Kurtis MacDermid (left) and Matt Rempe fight during the NHL game between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils.
Mary Altaffer/AP via CNN Newsource
Kurtis MacDermid (left) and Matt Rempe fight during the NHL game between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils.

By Jacob Lev and George Ramsay, CNN

(CNN) — A full five-on-five brawl erupted just two seconds after the opening puck drop between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

Once the fights had broken up, eight players in total – four from each team – were ejected before even playing a single minute.

The main tussle was between Rangers forward Matt Rempe and Devils defenseman Kurtis MacDermid, who continued to fight at center ice after the other players had separated.

When the teams faced each other at Madison Square Garden last month, the 21-year-old Rempe had declined to fight MacDermid early in the game.

“I’m always going to have a lot of respect for him, he’s a young kid just trying to do his thing to stay in the league and I understand that. He’s going to learn and he’s a big, tough, strong kid,” MacDermid told reporters after the game.

He added that he hadn’t anticipated other players from both teams joining in, describing the mass brawl as a “spur of the moment” incident.

“It’s great to see the team bonding that way and just having each other’s backs out there,” said MacDermid. “After a situation like that, the rest of the team accepted a lot of the slack in the minutes and they played hard and had an awesome game tonight. Just didn’t get the two points.”

The Rangers went on to win 4-3 after Chris Kreider scored a power play goal late on in the fiery contest.

New York’s Jacob Trouba, K’Andre Miller, Barclay Goodrow and Rempe were all ejected, while New Jersey’s Kevin Bahl, John Marino, Chris Tierney and MacDermid also received their marching orders.

Meanwhile, Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette and Devils interim head coach Travis Green engaged in a heated exchange after the brawl.

“There was a lot going on,” Green told reporters. “Obviously, there were five fights to start the game. I don’t know if anyone was expecting that. It’s an emotional game.

“As far as Peter and I go, I look over and he’s yelling, talking to me and I’m more than willing to go and talk to him and I have no idea why Peter was mad.”

He added: “Their players were lining up fights before the faceoff and none of this would have happened … if something happened the game before.”

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