Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers shoots on...

Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers shoots on goal against the Colorado Avalanche. (March 17, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- In the 2009-10 season with Dallas, center Brad Richards was among the league leaders with 284 shots. In 2010-11, Richards had 272.

This season, however, his first with the Rangers and trying to be more of a playmaker, Richards finished with 229 shots, well behind team leader Marian Gaborik with 276.

Richards has been far more willing to fire away in the playoffs. As of Friday, he was leading the league in shots with 42. And with nine points, he was tied for fifth in scoring, tied for seventh in playoff goals (four) and tied for second in power-play assists with four.

"It's not just the shots," coach John Tortorella said when asked how Richards has elevated his game. "It's been across the board from before he even steps on the ice and when he steps on the ice. He's made some big plays at key times."

 

Kreider goes on instinct

The coaching staff has given Chris Kreider, who parachuted into the playoffs directly from Boston College, a foundation but is allowing him to use his instincts. Kreider, who turned 21 on April 30, has done pretty well: At 2-1-3, he leads rookies with game-winning goals (two), and is sixth in scoring. His two goals on 11 shots leads the Rangers in shooting percentage.

Real lessons will begin in training camp.

"He will be coached differently when the regular season starts, as far as the details," Tortorella said. "He's had his ups and downs. We're just beginning to understand him."

 

Lundqvist at top of heap

Henrik Lundqvist leads all remaining goaltenders in goals-against average at 1.55, is second in save percentage at .944 and tied for second in wins with six. Lundqvist and four others have one shutout each . . . Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto, both 1-4-5, are tied for fourth in scoring among defensemen.

 

More playoff numbers

Brandon Dubinsky (injured) had just one assist in seven games. But only three Rangers who have played more than one game have not registered a point: Mike Rupp, John Mitchell and Stu Bickel . . . Ryan McDonagh is leading the team in ice time at 28:49; Girardi is at 28:36. Ryan Callahan leads all forwards in the series at 25:03. . . D Karl Alzner leads the Caps at 25:50; Nicklas Backstrom leads Caps forwards with 22:17 . . . Of the eight remaining teams, the Rangers are fifth in penalty minutes with 115; the Capitals are third with 94.

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