Adam Fox is not a very excitable guy. Yes, the rookie defenseman from Jericho thought it was cool to play at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum — minutes away from where he grew up — for the first time as a Ranger, but when pressed about how much of a thrill it was, he insisted it wasn’t that big a deal.
“I think fans and media people probably think it’s a little more for me than it is right now, just because I try and treat every game like the same,’’ Fox said Thursday night after the Rangers beat the Islanders, 3-2.
Fox had only a few moments to talk because he had to shower, dress and go see his family, which was at the game. His parents, brother and friends are able to watch him play at Madison Square Garden all the time, so for Fox, coming home to Long Island wasn’t a major event.
Fox, who lives in Manhattan, didn’t make the trip out to the Island after Wednesday’s practice to have dinner with his parents the night before the game.
“I see my family all the time, which is great for me,’’ he said. “It’s not like I’m treating it like a vacation coming back on Long Island and going home for dinner. We came down [Thursday] from the city.’’
For Fox and the Rangers, the important thing was to take two points from a division rival. The top contenders for the Eastern Conference’s two wild cards are Carolina with 57 points and Columbus and Philadelphia with 56 each. The Rangers have 50 and have two games in hand on each of those teams.
The Rangers (23-19-4) will play Columbus (24-16-8) on Sunday and will face the Islanders on Tuesday at the Garden.
What coach David Quinn will do with his goaltending the next two games is the big question. Alexandar Georgiev started the last two games — both against the Islanders — and was brilliant, stopping 70 of 74 shots (.946 save percentage). Georgiev is 4-1 in five career appearances against the Islanders, with a 1.40 goals-against average and .955 save percentage.
Though he insists he doesn’t get any special excitement playing against the Islanders — “I like playing against every single team in this league,’’ he said — the temptation will be high to play him Tuesday.
But with the Rangers carrying three goaltenders, who will face Columbus? Will Quinn consider riding a hot Georgiev for a third straight start? Will he turn to Igor Shesterkin, who started and won the first two games after his Jan. 6 call-up from AHL Hartford? Or will it be Henrik Lundqvist, who started and lost against St. Louis on Jan. 11?
Shesterkin (2-0, 3.01 GAA) hasn’t played since Jan. 9. Lundqvist (9-10-3, 3.18) has played once since Jan. 2.
Notes & quotes: The Rangers’ Ryan Lindgren was fined $2,486.56 by the NHL for his hit on the Islanders’ Jordan Eberle that drew a cross-checking penalty.