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Rempe energizes Rangers and Madison Square Garden crowd in Game 1 win

The Rangers achieved a 4-1 victory and 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 2 is Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, SNW, SNO, SNE, TVAS, MNMT, MSG).

“It was fantastic,” said forward Artemi Panarin, who scored New York’s second goal. “I mean, the fans went wild, we on the bench were ecstatic. It was just amazing to see that. Such an important goal.”

Rempe scored from the left post on a tip pass from Jimmy Vesey after leading the rush out of the defensive zone, through the neutral zone into the offensive zone before sliding the puck to Barclay Goodrow, curling it behind the net and then stopping. in front.

“A little bit shocked,” he said of scoring a goal in a playoff game at Madison Square Garden. “It was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It didn’t really happen and then you hear the audience. It was a dream come true.

Rempe also had a physical presence on Vesey’s goal, making it 3-0 at 6:23. He got in Beck Malenstyn’s way to create space for Goodrow’s face-off win shot to get through traffic and past Charlie Lindgren.

He had another shot on goal during another rush he led, and contributed three hits, all in a team-low 8:33 of ice time.

“Every game he’s been in the lineup, he’s had an effect on the game,” Vesey said. “It was fun to play with him. He shows up every night for the team. It’s great to see him score that goal. Obviously it was a big goal in the game, but the look on his face was pretty cool too .”

Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said: “Maybe because it was him too, it added some extra juice to the building.”

There’s no doubt about it.

Rempe mania is sweeping through the Rangers fanbase and the Garden faithful.

They’ve loved him since he made his NHL debut in the 2024 NHL Stadium Series game at MetLife Stadium on February 18, when he fought Matt Martin of the New York Islanders for a second in his first NHL squad, just 1 :29 in the match. .

They sing his last name whenever he’s on the ice, including during pre-game warmups. They go crazy when he makes a big hit, or even when he tries to make a big hit and misses. They wear his jersey, No. 73 on the back, and wear T-shirts made in his honor.

When he was a healthy scratch against the Philadelphia Flyers on April 11, the fans chanted “We want Rempe” near the end of what was a rather lifeless 4-1 loss.

Rempe played the last two games of the regular season and obviously made a huge impact on Sunday. And now we know the reaction to him is on another level when he scores at the Garden.

“The crowd was definitely excited and it was fun,” Rempe said. “I’ll always remember it. It was amazing.”

Laviolette, an NHL head coach since 2001, was asked if he has experienced anything similar to the mania surrounding Rempe since he has been in the League.

No.

“To the question you’re asking, I can’t think of a player that has come in and had an impact on a team, on a fan base, on a city,” Laviolette said. “When you look at him, he’s just smiling, he’s just happy, he loves being here and loves playing the game. He was great, but I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.”

Rempe’s energy and the energy the fans in the building create for him spreads to the rest of the team, especially to his line.

“You’ve seen it, you’ve heard it from the building. Every time they’re on the ice, they get the building going and do everything they can to make their top players tough and still produce offensively,” defenseman said K’Andre Miller.

That was clear on Sunday with Rempe, Vesey and Goodrow. They started the offense. They were effective in almost every 5-on-5 team. Laviolette also had them on the ice for the final minute of the game.

“I mean, obviously his goal made the fans go crazy and then we scored two more goals in the next two minutes, so I think he definitely gets the crowd involved,” Vesey said. “The team with the home ice advantage will try to feed the energy of the crowd. I can’t say for sure that’s why we scored three goals, but he’s sure everyone is involved in the match.”

And when he does, the fans continue to chant his name.

“I love them, they are the best,” Rempe said. “They sing all night long. I love them so much. I can’t thank them enough.”