Forget the hockey game, the Rangers vs. Capitals matchup turned into "MMA on Ice" on Wednesday ... in the wake of a violent incident earlier this week.
The chaos started as soon as the puck dropped ... with several players attacking each other as retaliation for what happened on Monday between Capitals forward Tom Wilson and Rangers superstar Artemi Panarin.
The line brawl broke out one second into the game ... with at least 3 separate scraps going down.
The mayhem continued as Wilson entered the game ... with Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith going after him as soon as he touched the puck. Wilson later left the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury.