Physical forward Micheal Haley, who was called up from Connecticut of the American Hockey League earlier in the day, will take Richards' spot in the lineup.
Richards is still dealing with the after-effects (soreness, stiffness) of the check from behind Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta delivered during Sunday's shootout victory. Richards, who didn't miss a shift in the game Sunday, was driven headfirst into the left-wing boards; Kaleta was suspended five games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.
Richards skipped practice Monday and briefly skated Tuesday morning at the team's suburban training facility, but he left the ice quickly and did not address the media.Rangers coach John Tortorella said Richards' injury is not a long-term concern. Tortorella also said he would use rookie J.T. Miller at center to start the game.
Miller played center when he was first called up in early February, but he was switched to the wing because Tortorella was concerned with his defensive awareness while playing in the middle.
Miller told NHL.com Tuesday morning that he has learned from that experience and feels he will be better off this time around.
"I know a lot more now than I did," Miller told NHL.com. "I know what to expect now at least. My job would be to go do it and if I didn't do it, it would be my fault 100 percent. I understand the situations I would just have to make sure I execute in them if I am playing center."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl