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Devils' MacDermid: Brawl with Rangers 'was spur of the moment'


New Jersey Devils defenceman Kurtis MacDermid says that Wednesday night's line brawl off the opening faceoff against the New York Rangers was not premediated. 

All 10 skaters on the ice for the opening draw dropped the gloves, with MacDermid squaring off against Matt Rempe in a heavyweight tilt. 

"I had no idea that was going to happen. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing,'' MacDermid said of the five simultaneous fights.

Devils interim head coach Travis Green said the brawl was follow-up from last month's meeting between the two teams when Rempe threw an elbow Jonas Siegenthaler, which landed him a four-game suspension. 

“I have no idea why [Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette] was upset,'' Green said. ”Their players were lining up fights before the game. We all know why it happened tonight. Something happened the game before."

Green clarified that he did not see a full line brawl coming.

“There was a lot going on. Five fights to start the game. I don’t think anyone expected that," Green said.

Curtis Lazar of the Devils and Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey were ruled to have engaged in the first fight, leaving the other eight players who fought with game misconducts for engaging in secondary altercations. 

Rangers captain Jacob TroubaK'Andre MillerBarclay Goodrow and Rempe were ejected, while the Devils lost Kevin BahlJohn Marino, Chris Tierney, MacDermid just two seconds in.

“It was great to see the team responding that way and having each other's backs out there,'' said MacDermid. “l have a lot of respect for him [Rempe]. He's a young kid trying to do his thing. I understand that."

The Rangers eventually earned a 4-3 win over the Devils on Wednesday. The two teams will not meet again this season.