In a bit of public self-analysis, the Rangers' Brad Richards said Thursday that his game has been off against the Kings. He didn't quibble with his demotion to the fourth line and a lesser role on the power play.
"I haven't been where I need to be this series, so my ice time has been lower," Richards said.
Richards said his reaction after being told about the changes by coach Alain Vigneault before Game 4 was: "You go try to win a game . . . If you're down 3-nothing, there's something that has to change. You talk to your new linemates and go play."
During practice at Staples Center in advance of Game 5 Friday night, Richards, who pointed to his play in Game 2 as evidence of his slide, again was on the left side of Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett.
"Game 2 [a 5-4 double-overtime loss] was rough," he said. "I don't know what happened; I just couldn't get out of my way, but besides that, if I score a goal or contribute or we win, you probably have a whole different feeling. I had a chance maybe to bury it in the third, and it probably changes the whole mentality of the team, coming back [home] 1-1. It didn't. If other guys are figuring out another way to get it done, right now, it's about that."
Game 5s unkind
Since 2008, the Rangers are 2-7 in Game 5s. In three of those losses, they were eliminated from the playoffs: A 3-1 loss in Boston last season, a 3-1 loss in Washington in the first round in 2011 and a 3-2 overtime loss in Pittsburgh in 2008. Their last Game 5 victory was in Pittsburgh in this year's conference semifinals. Before that, it was a 3-2 overtime win in 2012 against the Capitals at the Garden.