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NHL St Louis Blues

St. Louis Blues: Jaden Schwartz Stepping Up In Wake Of Injuries

Jaden Schwartz Blues

Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

With a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, the St. Louis Blues remained one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference and second-year forward Jaden Schwartz kept his career-best goal-scoring streak alive. The Blues have now won three in a row and are 5-0-1 in their last six games, and Schwartz has scored in six consecutive contests. With leading scorer Alex Steen sidelined, seeing Schwartz play so well has been a boost for the Blues, who sit four points behind the Chicago Blackhawks in the Central Division.

Schwartz now has 14 goals and 30 points this season, trailing only Steen and T.J. Oshie in Blues scoring this season. Tuesday’s goal was his first game-winner of the season, and capped off a December in which he scored eight goals and had 13 points in 12 games. He also finished the month with a plus-9 rating. Through 37 games, the 2010 first-rounder has already done more than twice as much offensively as he did in his rookie season (seven goals, 13 points, 45 games). He’s seeing top-line time while Steen, David Backes and Ryan Reaves have been sidelined. Chris Stewart may also miss some time after suffering an injury against the Wild. The Blues will need Schwartz to keep up his hot streak, and are giving AHLers Dmitrij Jaskin and Chris Porter a chance to earn increased time as well.

The Blues face two tough tests to finish out the week as they host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. Steen (concussion) remains out with no definite timetable for a return.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL featured columnist for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.