NEW YORK -- When Brad Richards started the season centering the New York Rangers' top line alongside All-Stars Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik, there was every reason to believe he would be a part of New York's hottest trio entering the final week of the regular season.
And with seven points in his last three games -- including his first career hat trick -- Richards has been on fire for the Rangers. But he's done it playing alongside two players that aren’t exactly Nash and Gaborik.
Gaborik has since been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nash has not seen much time alongside Richards. Instead, Mats Zuccarello was placed beside Richards at the end of March after starting the season with Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League. In their first nine games together, the pair combined for seven points and enjoyed varying degrees of success with different players on the other wing, including Ryane Clowe. But it's the addition of Taylor Pyatt who has allowed the pair to break out, combining for six goals in their past three games.