Brad Richards is used to this situation, preparing for his 16th career playoff series, but he is not familiar with the position he has been placed in. Or more accurately, the position Rangers coach John Tortorella was practically forced to put him in.

For the past two games, Richards has been relegated to the fourth line, playing an average of 10:23 while centering Arron Asham and Chris Kreider, after five forgettable games to open the opening round series against Washington.

The 32-year-old, in the second-year of a nine-year, $60 million contract, has been skating with speed that seems sapped, making his Conn Smythe spring feel 90 years ago instead of nine after finishing the seven-game series win with one goal — his only point — while averaging two shots per game.

Heading into Thursday night’s first game of the conference semifinals in Boston, Richards said he believes a bounce-back, or a throwback, is just a mentality away.

“I can help me,” Richards said after Wednesday’s practice. “I’ll figure it out.”

Finding what used to come naturally to Richards could be more challenging playing alongside new linemates without the skill he is accustomed to seeing on each side. So, he’s attempting to simplify what he does on the ice. And it begins with opportunities.

“I’m not going to bash my linemates like that, but it’s a little more simple, a little more straightforward than some other ways to play,” said Richards, who noted it’s a big difference playing on the new line. “But this time of season, a lot of that other stuff doesn’t work anyway. It’s got to be straightforward, it’s got to be to get shots when you can and drive to the net and try to just create more.”