The Rangers' Matt Rempe and the Maple Leafs' Ryan Reaves fight...

The Rangers' Matt Rempe and the Maple Leafs' Ryan Reaves fight during the third period of an NHL game in Toronto on Saturday. Credit: AP/Frank Gunn

TORONTO — Rempe Mania made it here on Saturday, as the hype around the Rangers’ rookie tough guy practically got out of control as people anticipated a matchup with Maple Leafs enforcer Ryan Reaves.

Reaves and the 6-8 Rempe finally fought with 5:59 to go in the third period of the Rangers’ 4-3 shootout loss.

The Rangers trailed 3-2 when the two dropped the gloves. Both landed a few good punches but Reaves, one of the most feared fighters in the league and a former Ranger, probably got the slight edge over Rempe toward the end.

The Rangers were appreciative of the youngster’s effort.

“He doesn’t have to fight. He knows that,’’ Adam Fox said. “He’s a 21-year-old kid. I think Reavo’s got a bit of respect for him . . . and yeah, you’re down a goal. It gives a little life, and we were able to maybe get a little boost from that at the end, and help us. But I thought he played a good game getting in on the forecheck too.

“Everyone’s obviously going to want to see him fight all these heavyweights, but he’s been effective without fighting, too.’’

Rempe was credited with three hits in 5:56 of ice time, including one in the second period that hurt Toronto defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin, who did not return.

Rempe has captured people’s imaginations after breaking into the league by fighting the Islanders’ Matt Martin in the Stadium Series game at MetLife Stadium two weeks ago and getting involved in three heavyweight fights in his first six games.

At the Rangers’ optional morning skate, Rempe was asked about Reaves, 37. “He’s a real tough guy and he’s carved out a great career for himself,’’ he said. “I have a lot of respect for him.’’

Still sporting a black eye from his fight with Columbus’ Mathieu Olivier last Sunday, Rempe was asked when the time is right to fight. “I don’t know how to answer that,’’ he said. “It happens whenever. Sometimes you’re standing up for your teammates, sometimes you’re trying to get some energy , sometimes you’re defending yourself after a hit — it’s lots of different cases.’’

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