Matt Rempe #73 and Chris Kreider #20 of the New...

Matt Rempe #73 and Chris Kreider #20 of the New York Rangers react after a goal by Rempe during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on February 24, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Credit: Getty Images

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Saturday’s game-winning goal scorer, 21-year-old rookie Matt Rempe, who is having quite a time since getting called up from AHL Hartford Feb. 17, got into his fourth fight in five games with Rangers in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Nationwide Arena. Rempe dropped the gloves and brawled with Columbus’ Mathieu Olivier 11 seconds into his first shift of the game.

As always with Rempe’s fights, there wasn’t much in the way of defending, and tying up the opponent. Both players bombed away with punches, and this time Rempe’s helmet came off and Olivier ended up getting the better of him, taking him down after a lengthy bout.

Rempe went off to the dressing room after the fight to be checked for a concussion, but he returned before the period was over. And he earned an assist on Adam Edstrom’s second-period goal that briefly tied the score at 2.

Rangers coach Peter Laviolette was asked if he needs to talk to Rempe about not fighting so much, or about doing a better job of protecting himself while he’s in a fight.

“There’s conversations all the time,’’ Laviolette said. “The players are out on the ice and things happen. But he came back and gave us some good minutes. His line scored a goal. He went to the net, ‘Eddie’ [Edstrom] popped one in. So [Rempe] came back and contributed.’’

PK unit 4th best in NHL

The Rangers’ penalty killing unit had killed 10 straight opposition power plays before Columbus’ Dmitri Voronkov scored as the Blue Jackets’ first power play was expiring. The Rangers, who have been good on the man down all season, were fourth-best in the league, with a success rate of 83.2%, before the game.

“It’s been good,’’ Laviolette said of the group. “I thought two games ago against New Jersey we were really strong and aggressive. Kind of like some of the things [Saturday, against Philadelphia] it backed off a little bit. It was still good. It was clean. But I’d like get back to that aggressiveness.’’

Against Columbus, they killed two of three power plays.

Jones, Belzile scratched

D Zac Jones and RW Alex Belzile were the Rangers scratches.

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