Rangers scratch Richards for Game 4

New York Rangers center Brad Richards will be a healthy scratch for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against Boston.

The Rangers face elimination on Thursday after dropping the first three games of the best-of-seven series.

Rangers coach John Tortorella informed the former Conn Smythe winner of the decision on Thursday morning.

Richards has just one goal -- which he scored in Game 4 of the first-round series against Washington with the goaltender well out of the crease after a misplay -- and a minus-3 rating in 10 games this postseason. He had been centering the Rangers' fourth line and played just over eight minutes in Game 3 on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old veteran had 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points in 46 games during the regular season, his second with the Rangers. He signed a nine-year contract, reportedly worth $58 million, as a free agent in July 2011.

Richards was the Smythe winner as playoff MVP during Tampa Bay's 2004 Stanley Cup championship when he notched 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points in 23 games.