Rangers’ Matt Rempe fights Islanders’ Matt Martin on first NHL shift

It took Matt Lempe four seconds to introduce himself to the NHL.

The 6-foot-8.5 forward, who became the first player in history to make his NHL debut in an outdoor game, dropped gloves with Islanders heavyweight Matt Martin during the first shift at Rangers vs. Islanders Stadium. The series will be played Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

After exchanging punches with Martin, Lempe repeatedly threw his arms up, provoking the crowd, mostly dressed in blue, into a commotion. And they did.

Rangers rookie Matt Lempe (right) faces Islanders forward Matt Martin (left) early in the first period of the 2024 NHL Stadium Series game at MetLife Stadium on February 18, 2024. NHLI (via Getty Images)

Rangers rookie Matt Lempe played his first NHL shift against the Islanders' Matt Martin.
Rangers rookie Matt Lempe played his first NHL shift against the Islanders’ Matt Martin. NHLI (via Getty Images)

Rempe, 21, has been recalled to the Rangers for the second time in the past week and a half, having been drafted 165th overall in the 2020 draft.

However, Blake Wheeler suffered a season-ending lower-body injury and was called up again after the Rangers brought him back to AHL Hartford.



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