Adam Fox grew up in Jericho on Long Island, but spurned his native islanders and grew up as a Rangers fan. So it was special for him to play the Rangers Islanders in his first game on Monday night. The 21-year-old blueshirts defender scored a goal and added a draft when his team won 6-2 in the garden.
"It's really great," said Fox after the game. His team had Tuesday off before returning to training on Wednesday and continuing the rivalry with a Coliseum match on Thursday evening. “Obviously we saw a lot of games and went to a couple on both ice rinks and you see how the crowd is a little bit split. It's really great to be a part of this site and feel the intensity when you're out there. "
Fox has earned at least one point in five of the last seven games and nine points (one goal, eight assists) during that time. He was the Rangers' first rookie defender to score 20 or more assists in the first 45 games of a season since Brian Leetch in 1988-89. He scored his sixth goal on Monday when his shot from an acute angle was taken by goalkeeper Seymon Varlamov and the Rangers took a 3-1 lead.
"Obviously a big goal," said Fox, "and it's pretty cool against a team 10 minutes away from my house."
Goalie Alexandar Georgiev scored 32 saves on Monday and stopped 90 of 94 shots when he won three of his four career matchups against the islanders. Coach David Quinn said he would be tempted to return to Georgiev on Thursday, but he also has two other goalkeepers on the squad in Henrik Lundqvist and Igor Shesterkin.
The Rangers sent defender Libor Hajek to AHL Hartford on Tuesday so the 21-year-old could play some games when he recovered from an injury to his right knee that prevented him from doing so for just over a month. Hajek fought for the Rangers in his second leg in St. Louis on Saturday when Marc Staal was unable to walk due to a minor upper body injury.
Winger Jesper Fast celebrated a career high on Monday with a three-point game (goal, two assists), the fourth three-point game of his career and the second in the last four competitions. He has certainly benefited from working with Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome.
"He really clarified this line," said Quinn. "It gives them a lot of stability."