GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Brad Richardson has saved his 14th NHL season for his most productive. The 35-year-old has 16 goals this season, including a four-goal explosion last Thursday night against Vancouver.
"He's my guy," said Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet. "He's a culture changing-type guy."
He's the first Coyote to score four goals in one game since former captain Keith Tkachuk in 1997. With the injury to Derek Stepan, Richardson will serve as alternate captain for the foreseeable future.
"Being able to win one Stanley Cup, you keep chasing it," said Richardson, who won the Cup with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012. "The playoffs are so fun. You just want to get in there and you never know what happens. That's what is pushing you."
Richardson is signed through next season with the Coyotes. He's struggled to stay on the ice in the desert, suffering a hand injury this season and a horrific leg injury versus Vancouver in 2016. The 35-year-old has kept grinding. His four-goal performance came against the Canucks, another one of his former teams.
"There's a lot of teams fighting for those last couple positions," said Richardson. "So, we just got to keep going, keep winning games because other teams are going to. We don't have much of a choice.
The Coyotes are back home on Tuesday night against Anaheim. With 17 games left, they are two points behind Minnesota for the final Wild Card playoff spot.