Brad Richards stated the obvious when it comes to the state of the New York Rangers.

Coming off an ugly 9-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks the Rangers will be without Rick Nash for at least Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks and reportedly Saturday as well.

"It's not ideal that's for sure" Richards said. "That's about all I can really say. We want him back. We need him but we don't have him. People got to step up and we've got to find another way to play that even more simple [game]. We can't dwell on it. We hope he's back as quick as possible obviously.

"It looked like he was just getting his game together there against L.A. [on Monday]. He's pretty dominant when that happens. We want him back ASAP."

Nash took an elbow to the head Tuesday from San Jose's Brad Stuart who was suspended three games and has been sent back to New York. Coach Alain Vigneault adjusted by putting Richards back at center between Benoit Pouliot and Ryan Callahan on the top line.

Derek Stepan will center Taylor Pyatt and Jesper Fast while Derick Brassard was with Brian Boyle and Mats Zuccarello at the morning skate.

"We're losing one of our top players as far as skill level so we felt tonight we needed to come in here after watching Anaheim's last couple of games and we felt we needed better balance and we think that these four lines give us better balance" Vigneault said.