(HockeyStL) -- The St. Louis Blues will have a predicament if Jaden Schwartz continues to perform like he did against the Edmonton Oilers Friday.
With injuries to key forwards, Schwartz jumped to the Blues top line to play alongside David Backes and T.J. Oshie against the Oilers.
“Yeah, I was excited. I was really looking forward to playing with them and was a little bit nervous at the start, but they’re great players,” Schwartz said. “They’re easy to play with.”
The 20-year-old made the most out of his night with his new linemates while scoring a crucial goal after the team fell down 2-0.
“Being down 2-0 is never a spot you want to be in and we needed to get that next goal and I was glad to accept that,” Schwartz said. “It happened pretty quick. It was a fortunate bounce on my stick and lucky enough it went in.”
The goal came after an attempted shot from Oshie deflected off an Oilers defender out to Schwartz. It wasn’t the deciding goal, but it might have been the most important.
“I think we still felt, even after the first period, if we got the next goal we could make a game of it,” Ken Hitchcock said. “I thought our second period was excellent. I thought we did a lot of good things in the second and really start to take the game over.”
It was the first goal scored at home for the Blues in 93 minutes and 47 seconds played.
The five-foot-nine forward received praise from Backes, who finished with a goal and an assist.
“A pretty inspired effort by Schwartzy tonight,” Backes said. “He’s always in the corners and plays like he’s six (foot) five (inches) even though he’s just a little guy. He did a great job. He’s been solid for us whenever we asked him to play whether it’s third or fourth line or with Osh and I tonight.”
Schwartz finished with a season-high six shots and 13 minutes and 34 seconds played.
“Yeah, the line was good, but he was a catalyst,” Hitchcock said. “He played very well. He played the right way which was really good to see. I thought he gave the line some real moxie. They were able to read off him and I though he played his best game, obviously, for us.”
David Perron, who normally plays on the top line, moved to the second line with Patrik Berglund and Chris Stewart. He finished with a minus-one rating in 15 minutes and 56 seconds played.