Richards’ struggles leave him on Rangers bench

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Brad Richards went without a point in the last two games prior to Thursday.

Despite registering an assist in a 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders, Rangers coach John Tortorella felt the veteran center could use some time on the bench to think about his recent struggles.

Richards was benched for almost the entire third period against the Islanders.

“Yeah, I mean it’s a pretty big hole, but I felt I had to,” Tortorella told Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork.com.

Richards hasn’t scored a goal in eight games, since Jan. 26 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He was also pinned to the bench during the shootout, which lasted just two rounds. Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored in the skills competition to give the Islanders the win.