Jaden Schwartz had a huge night for the St. Louis Blues that looked like it may have ended early.
Schwartz scored the first goal of the game 4:46 into the first period to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. Later in the first, however, Schwartz lost an edge and went into the boards behind Corey Crawford head-first and stayed down for some time. He was helped from the ice and the immediate thought was that he was hurt and certainly wouldn’t return to the game.
Well, Schwartz came back and scored two more times to complete a hat trick and lead the Blues to a 5-2 victory in front of a nationally televised audience.
Schwartz scored his second at 5:59 into the second and Vladimir Tarasenko scored at 7:49 to extend the Blues’ lead to three. St. Louis was 0-5 on the power play in the first two periods but held a 26-8 shot advantage through 40 minutes.
Kyle Brodziak made it 4-0 in favor of the Blues seven minutes into the third.
Coach Joel Quenneville pulled Crawford early in an effort to get his team back in the game, and it appeared to work.
Richard Panik tipped a Duncan Keith shot into the net for a power play goal at 14:47 into the third.
Panik’s fourth of the year had assists given to Keith and Patrick Kane.
Ryan Hartman added a power play goal 80 seconds later to make things interesting.
Hartman’s third of the season had assists given to Alex DeBrincat and Brent Seabrook and cut the lead to 4-2.
Over the next three minutes, the Blues hilariously tried over and over again to put the puck into the vacated Blackhawks’ net and failed. Jan Rutta made a few saves and a few other Hawks blocked shots but Chicago couldn’t get the puck under control long enough to get another scoring chance.
Schwartz completed his hat trick into the empty cage with 52 seconds left in regulation to put the final marker on the board.
Crawford stopped 28 of 32 in the loss. Jake Allen stopped 22 of 24 for the Blues.
Jonathan Toews won 14 of 21 faceoffs to lead Chicago at the dot. Nick Schmaltz returned and five of 12 in 18:07 on the ice.
Tommy Wingels led the Hawks with five hits but was minus-three. John Hayden and Patrick Sharp were also minus-three in the game. Keith and Seabrook were each minus-four in the game and didn’t look good on any of the Blues’ goals.
It was an ugly road loss that needs to be put away quickly because the Hawks come home to face Edmonton on Thursday night.