Richards said Rangers coach John Tortorella called him Thursday morning to give him the news that he will be a healthy scratch for the elimination game. The Bruins lead the Rangers 3-0 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
"I'm disappointed," Richards said.
Richards, the 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy winner with the Tampa Bay Lightning, has been centering the Rangers' fourth line and picking up extra minutes playing the power play, but he played a postseason-low 8:10 in Game 3 Tuesday, a 2-1 loss. He has one goal and is a minus-3 in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Richards entered the postseason on a hot streak, with 11 points in the last six games of the regular season to finish with 34 points in 46 games.
According to Capgeek.com, Richards is signed for seven more years with an annual salary-cap hit of $6.67 million.
"Nothing is over, work harder and try my best to never let it happen again," Richards said.
Tortorella wouldn't divulge any updates for his Game 4 lineup, so it's unclear who will play for Richards and which other forwards will be scratched. Ryane Clowe, Micheal Haley and Kris Newbury all came off the ice early, an indication they could be in, and Arron Asham and Chris Kreider stayed on for extra work.
Kreider has played the past five games, and Asham has played in all 10 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"I don't know," Asham said when asked if he's playing. "It's in the air right now, but whatever happens, happens."
Clowe hasn't played since Game 5 against the Washington Capitals. He has been out with an undisclosed injury.
Newbury played in Game 1 against the Capitals but has been a healthy scratch since. If Haley plays, he'll be making his 2013 postseason debut.