Richards comes up big for Rangers in Game 1 win

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Remember when Brad Richards was a healthy scratch for the New York Rangers in last year’s playoffs? Yeah, right?

Well, on Thursday, he was the catalyst for the Rangers in their win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of that Eastern Conference quarter-final. He scored once – the winner on a third-period power play, caused by a lack of discipline from Philadelphia – and added a pair of assists to help New York to a 4-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead.

Yet, prior to this post-season beginning, there was talk he could be a potential buyout candidate, which is similar to what he experienced a year ago.

“I believe that everything works out for a reason,” Richards told the New York Post. “I’m under contract to the Rangers and I’m going to put everything I have into playing for the Rangers until someone tells me that I’m not on the team anymore.”

Not sure that same speculation will persist if he has nights like he did Thursday in these playoffs.

Rangers’ head coach Alain Vigneault didn’t necessarily laud Richards’ leadership qualities following the win. It’s expected the veteran forward plays big.

“That’s what he’s here for,” said Vigneault, as per Katie Strang of ESPN New York.