Richards misses third straight day

Brad Richards, the Rangers' 32-year-old alternate captain and first-line center, missed a third straight day with the flu Tuesday, cutting his already shortened week-long training camp in half.

Will he be healthy in time to play for the season opener, Jan. 19 versus Boston? Most likely.

But is his absence a growing concern?

"It isn't," coach John Tortorella said. "Richie, right on through [the lockout], has been working through it on conditioning and all of that. Like I said [Monday], we want him here. Is it ideal that he misses these days here? No, but he's getting better and hopefully he'll be on the ice quickly and jump right on with us."

Beyond that, there is nothing the team can do beyond hope that he recuperates swiftly.

"It's out of our control," Tortorella said.

Richards played in all 82 regular-season games and 20 playoff games to finish with 31 goals and 50 assists in his first season with the team.