Winners and Losers From the 2024 NHL Playoffs’ Opening Weekend

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 21: Matt Rempe #73 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second period goal against the Washington Capitals in Game One of the First Round of the 2src24 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on April 21, 2src24 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s another thing that makes the playoffs so special: Unlikely heroes.

And though it’s yet to be determined whether the likes of Matt Rempe, John Beecher or Martin Fehervary have any real impact on who hoists the Cup this year, each got off to a good start with their first career playoff goal.

Rookies Rempe and Beecher lit the lamp in their inaugural exposure to the postseason for the Rangers and Bruins, respectively, while Fehervary’s goal came in his ninth career playoff game with Washington, which was beaten, 4-1, by New York.

Beecher, a 23-year-old center, scored Boston’s first goal against Toronto just 2:26 into the first period.

“I knew the energy was going to be there in the building,” he said. “We came up for the national anthem and [I] honestly got chills just sitting on the bench and hearing the crowd and how fired up everybody was to be there.”

Rempe, meanwhile, played 17 games during the regular season and established a quick reputation as a tough guy with 71 penalty minutes. He had one goal and two points while averaging less than six minutes per game, but he opened the scoring on Sunday against the Capitals with a wrist shot that beat Charlie Lindgren at 4:17 of the second period.

He’s the first Ranger to score in his first playoff game since 2011.

“It was awesome, the crowd was absolutely bumping. It was electric, it was unreal. Love it,” Rempe told ESPN between periods. “So much fun. Having a blast, it’s unreal. It’s the coolest building I’ve ever seen.”


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