Rangers’ Matt Rempe ejected for hit to head of Devils’ Nathan Bastian

Rangers rookie Matt Rempe‘s third career NHL game came to an abrupt ending when he was ejected three minutes into the first period against the Devils on Thursday night.

On the first shift of the night for the 6-foot-7 winger, Rempe rammed into the head of New Jersey‘s Nathan Bastian along the boards and sent the right wing sprawling, breaking his stick in the process.

Blood began to appear from Bastian’s face as he slowly got up to his knees before leaving the ice with the assistance of team trainers.

The hit was immediately met with a challenge from Devils’ defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler, however, the fight only lasted two punches with Rempe coming out victorious. It was Rempe’s second fight of his NHL career after he battled with the Islanders’ Matt Martin on the first shift of his debut.

Rempe was given a five-minute major for roughing and a match penalty as a result. His official time on the ice for the night was 13 seconds.

After the game, New York head coach Peter Laviolette called it a tough play.

“Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt, but it’s just tough,” he said, via Vince Mercogliano. “[Rempe is] a big guy. He was full steam ahead and kept everything down and tried to go through the body. I’m sure he hit everything, so it’s tough. It’s a tough call.”

The Rangers killed off the ensuing penalty and would later take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

In the second period, Bastian would serve a minor roughing penalty for a hit on Rangers captain Jacob Trouba before the pair dropped the gloves.

New York went on to win 5-1.