Read: John Tortorella Knows Brad Richards Will Be A Big Part Of This

On Thursday against Tampa Bay, Brad Richards had three shots on goal.

It was the first time since February 10th that Richards had more than two shots on goal in a game.

Richards played 21:26, on a line with Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards, and had the primary assist on Nash’s third period goal.

Yesterday, John Tortorella said that Thursday was the best game that Richards had played this season, “I think with Brad, he’s just trying to get out of his own way and allow himself to play. It was one of the better games I’ve seen him play this year. You could see his skating, he made a lot of plays with the puck, he had confidence to turn up in the end zone and look for the late people. I know him pretty well. He is going to be a really good player for us and that was probably his best game of the year.”

Tortorella added that Richards dedication to his team and his teammates is what holds him back sometimes, “he cares so much and sometimes I wish he didn’t care as much cause it paralyzes him a little bit but he allowed himself to play and you could see just the flow in his game. It’s encouraging and I’m sure it was to him. That’s what happens, then little by little that player gains some confidence and allows himself to play. He did a lot of good things in this game.”

When talking about the pass he made to Nash, Richards told the Daily News “a week ago, I can’t make that pass. Somehow I mess that up.”

Richards added that he likes the challenge of playing with Carl Hagelin and Rick Nash, two players on their game, and trying to match the pace that they play at.