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Rangers C Richards returns to the ice

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NEW YORK (AP) - Rangers center Brad Richards is back in the New York lineup Friday night against the Ottawa Senators after missing two games following a hard hit into the boards five days earlier.

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Richards, who sat out a pair of Rangers wins, skated on his own Friday as his teammates had the morning off, and felt well enough to return. No specific injury was announced, but New York coach John Tortorella had said that Richards was ``banged up.''

Richards was shoved from behind into the boards by Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta on Sunday in the third period of New York's 3-2 victory, but returned to the ice that night. Neck and back soreness are believed to be what kept him out since then.

Kaleta was ejected from the game and then received a five-game suspension from the NHL.

Richards has two goals and 11 assists in 20 games this season.

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