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Devils Postgame

Devils Fall to Rangers 4-3 on Fight Night

The Devils fork over another third period lead against the Rangers, falling in New York on Fight Night.

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New Jersey Devils
(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

BROADWAY —¬†It was Fight Night at Madison Square Garden between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers.

A series of events centered around Rangers forward Matt Rempe across multiple contests between the Hudson River Rivals led to an opening faceoff line brawl that featured Rempe and Kurtis MacDermid, plus eight other skaters between the Devils and Rangers.

GOTTA SEE IT: Devils Kurtis MacDermid, Rangers Matt Rempe Feature in Line Brawl at Puck Drop

As a result of the brawl, eight-game misconducts were assessed. Those ejected were Devils skaters Kevin Bahl, John Marino, Chris Tierney, and MacDermid, plus Rangers skaters Barclay Goodrow, Jacob Trouba, K’Andre Miller, and Rempe.

Curtis Lazar and Jimmy Vesey were determined to be the first fight of the bunch, therefore they remained in the game.

The officials handed out 162 penalty minutes in the opening frame, an NHL record for a single period.

Once the players and equipment were cleared from the Royal Rumble ring, a hockey game began if you can believe it.

It only took a little over four minutes after the line brawl for another fight to break out, this time featuring Dawson Mercer and Will Cuylle. Each received five minutes for fighting.

At the halfway mark of the first period, the Garden finally saw a goal. The Rangers took hold of the momentum and Artemi Panarin scored to give New York a 1-0 lead. Alexis Lafreniere doubled the Rangers’ lead in the closing moments of the first period.

The Devils were outshot 15-4 in the first 20 minutes of the tilt.

New Jersey found their game in the second period.

A little over two minutes into the middle frame, Jack Hughes danced Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren at the Ranger blue line. Hughes gained ice as a result and fed Ondrej Palat with a beautiful no-look pass, converted into a one-time goal.

Later, Igor Shesterkin committed a crucial error, mishandling a shot by Jesper Bratt that ended up in the back of the Rangers net after the rebound was collected, a goal by Brendan Smith to tie the game.

The Devils’ third goal of the second period might have been the nicest, however. After Bratt skated the puck deep into the Rangers’ end of the ice, he curled and fed Nico Hischier on Shesterkin’s back door for an easy tap-in to give the Devils a 3-2 lead.

The Devils and Rangers played a scoreless third period until Kaapo Kakko scored 5:31 into the final frame.

Brendan Smith took a late hooking penalty that sent the Devils to the penalty kill. With the Rangers on the man advantage, Chris Kreider deflected a shot from the point by Adam Fix past Kaapo Kahkonen to give New York a 4-3 lead with just under five minutes remaining in the period.

Kahkonen made 37 saves on 41 shots in the loss.

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