Matt Rempe #73 of the Rangers and Kurtis MacDermid #23...

Matt Rempe #73 of the Rangers and Kurtis MacDermid #23 of the New Jersey Devils are separated late during the second period at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 11, 2024. Credit: Jim McIsaac

RALEIGH, N.C. — Rookie forward and fan favorite Matt Rempe was suspended for four games by the NHL Tuesday for his elbow to the head of Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler in Monday’s 3-1 victory at Madison Square Garden. Rempe served the first game of his suspension Tuesday, when the Rangers visited the Carolina Hurricanes.

Rempe, who burst onto the NHL scene last month when he made his debut in the Stadium Series game at MetLife Stadium against the Islanders and fought Matt Martin on his first NHL shift, attained cult hero status after engaging in three fights in his first five games. But in two games against the Devils, he has been ejected both times, first for his hit to the head of Devils forward Nathan Bastian at Prudential Center Feb. 22, and then again Monday.

“We talked to Matt before that hit,’’ Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said before Tuesday’s game against the Hurricanes.

“We talked to him about his game, and on the ice, his physicality, what he brings to the team. It's a young player and we look to always talk with him and teach him. And it is a learning process, and we'll serve the games and move on.’’

Laviolette didn’t excuse Rempe for his hit, saying the 21-year-old has “got to be mindful’’ of controlling his 6-8, 245-pound body when he is going to hit people.

“He was going to go crashing into the boards and he put his arms up,’’ Laviolette said. “He can learn from it. We'll miss him while he’s gone. He was playing another pretty good game for us [Monday], and being really effective with what he does on the ice.

“There's been a lot around him since he's come on to our team and into the league,’’ he continued. “You take an opportunity like this, you just try to get better from it.’’

Jonny Brodzinski, who had been a healthy scratch the last two games, entered the lineup to replace Rempe.

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