Hats begin to liter the ice after Jaden Schwartz completed his third career hat trick Wednesday night in the Blues' 5-2 win over the Blackhawks. (Scott Rovak.St/ Louis Blues) 

By Rob Rains

There were at least three moments during Wednesday night’s game between the Blues and Chicago Blackhawks which Jaden Schwartz will enjoy watching on video.

There was one, however, that he might prefer to skip.

Schwartz registered the third hat trick of his career to lead the Blues to a 5-2 win over the Blackhawks at Scottrade Center, but also was involved in a scary episode when he crashed head-first into the boards late in the first period.

After a few minutes on the ice, he skated off on his power and was able to return for the start of the second period.

“I don’t know if I will watch it,” Schwartz said. “It didn’t feel good.”

His three goals, however, felt much better as the Blues rebounded from back-to-back losses in Florida in their previous two games.

Schwartz scored his first goal before he was injured, when he was on a shorthanded breakaway and was checked by Richard Panik. It was only the second goal allowed by the Blackhawks in the first period in their seven games this season.

“My toe pick caught a rivet on the ice.” Schwartz said. “It just happened fast head-first into the boards and I couldn’t get my hands up. A bit of a scary moment, but it could have been worse. I took the 23 to 30 minutes and felt good to come back.”

After getting his first goal on a rebound of a shot by Vladimir Tarasenko, Schwartz scored again 5:59 into the second period when the Blues caught Chicago with a line change and he took a long pass off the boards from goalie Jake Allen and beat Corey Crawford.

He completed his first hat trick since April 3, 2015 with an empty-net goal with 52 seconds to play.

Seeing Schwartz back on the ice put all of Schwartz’s teammates and coaches in a better frame of mind as the second period began.

“It was scary, you don’t like seeing a guy going into the boards like that,” said Kyle Brodziak. “Everybody who has done it knows it’s a pretty helpless feeling when you are sliding in. There’s really no way to protect yourself. You see his head take the brunt of the fall, and it was good to see him get up. Between periods everybody was concerned how he was doing, and we were relieved to see him come back.”

Coach Mike Yeo knows how important Schwartz is for the Blues.

“This is a guy who is hitting his prime and I think in the last year or so he’s just starting to scratch the surface and realize how good he can be,” Yeo said. “What I like about him, what I like about good players, is they can impact different types of games in different ways.”

Tarasenko followed Schwartz’s second goal with his fifth of the season 1:50 later as the Blues built a 3-0 lead, limiting the Blackhawks to just eight shots on goal through the first two periods. They finally were able to score twice in the closing minutes of the game, power-play goals by Panik and Ryan Hartman, after Brodziak’s goal had increased the St. Louis lead to 4-0.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was not pleased with how his team played in the first two periods.

“It was a bad start,” Quenneville said. “It was a bad middle. It wasn't very good even a little excited at the end but that wasn't very good. That was as close to brutal as you can get. They played well and we were brutal.”

The game could be a confidence-builder for the Blues as a team and for Schwartz in particular for Schwartz said Allen, who thought the first two periods were the best the Blues have played this season.

“If he’s going, he brings everyone else into it,” Allen said of Schwartz. “He’s really the guy who gets guys going. He sparks guys. He gets guys the puck. He works his best down below the goal line. Tight turns and sometimes he really doesn’t get enough credit.”

NOTES:
The Blues activated LW Alexander Steen from injured reserve. He missed the first six games because of a broken left hand. ... Steen took the roster spot of C Wade Megan, who was placed on waivers. ... Wednesday night's game was the teams' only meeting until March 18. ... The Blues left after the game to fly to Denver, where they play the Avalanche Thursday night.