Stanley Cup playoffs: Brad Richards will be a healthy scratch in Game 4

USA TODAY Sports

In a surprising twist, Brad Richards confirms he will be a healthy scratch for Game 4.

New York Rangers forward Brad Richards confirmed he will be a healthy scratch for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Richards said head coach John Tortorella called him at home on Thursday morning in order to inform him of the decision. At morning skate, Richards remained on the ice after practice, which is usually an indication of a player being held out as a scratch.

With the Rangers trailing the Bruins 3-0 in the series, it's shocking to learn that Richards won't be in the lineup. Signed last summer to a nine-year, $60 million contract as an unrestricted free agent, Richards was acquired in order to be a difference-maker. His being held out of the lineup in an elimination game is not something to be expected with a player of his ability.

However, Richards struggled in 2013 and that remained the case in the postseason. He has one point in ten playoff games and is averaging 14:43 of ice time per game. In recent contests, he has been moved onto the fourth line and hasn't played more than 13 minutes since Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

During the regular season, he averaged 18:48 of ice time per game.

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