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Shore Rides Wave Of Strong Play Up To Sunrise

Young center rejoins Panthers following strong play in San Antonio during Sochi break.

Tuesday, 02.25.2014 / 2:30 PM ET / News
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Shore Rides Wave Of Strong Play Up To Sunrise
Young center rejoins Panthers following strong play in San Antonio during Sochi break.
Center Drew Shore skates with the puck in a game at the BB&T Center (Getty Images)

Drew Shore is back.

After being assigned by the Panthers to their AHL affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, shortly before the Olympic break, the young center was recalled by the parent club Monday morning after playing a key role in helping the Rampage get back into the playoff race.

While the rodeo was taking over the AT&T Center in San Antonio for its annual residency, the Rampage went on the road and roped in some big wins, lassoing points in 12 straight games, the longest streak in the AHL this season.

Shore put together a run of his own during that span. As the top line center for San Antonio he notched goals in four straight contests and tallied six points in his 9-game run with the Rampage. The experience allowed him to build on his already growing confidence in his own play while also getting some valuable game experience during what would otherwise have been a lull on his calendar.

“A lot of things were rolling down there,” said the 23-year old Colorado native following Florida’s practice on Monday at the Panthers IceDen. “The whole team is playing well so it made it really easy to hop down and jump in the swing of things. We were on the road and we were winning and it was fun.”

While the hockey world was fixated on Sochi, Shore’s play certainly caught the eye of Panthers management, who cited the center’s strong play as the reason for his call-up.

“What a great way for him to respond. He left here, he went down there and had five goals in his first six games and played really well,” said a clearly impressed Panthers interim head coach Peter Horachek. “He did exactly what you want a player to do. He approached it the right way. To lead the charge and take the positive mojo that he got up from playing here and take that down with him.”

Shore credits the approach to his game in San Antonio to his strong play with the Panthers prior to the Olympic break. During that time he was featured prominently on the team’s penalty-killing unit which went 10 straight games without allowing a power play goal. Most notably, Shore scored two goals, including a shorthanded marker, in the Cats 5-1 road win over the Penguins on Jan. 20. It was his first multi-goal game in the NHL.

“I had a lot of confidence going down and obviously it was a little different than at the beginning of the season when I knew (this time) that I was just getting sent down because of the break,” said Shore. “I just wanted to go down there and work as hard as I can, keep improving and I think that's what I did but it's nice to be back.”

His coach in Florida hopes some of Shore’s success with the Rampage rubs off on his Panthers teammates.

“The best gift you can give your teammates is your attitude,” said Horachek. “If you can put that on the line every day with your teammates, they see you come down here, have a little extra jump on your feet boy that gets them enthused as well. He earned it, did a great job down there so it's good to have him back up.”

Shore will look to continue to ride the wave of confidence when he steps on to the ice at the BB&T Center on Thursday night for his first game back with the Panthers.

“I'm a young guy just trying to find my way in this league. I'm going to keep believing in myself. I've had that since I'm a little kid and I think I'm going to accomplish a lot in this league.''

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 79 15 39 10 54
J. Jokinen 81 8 36 -2 44
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
A. Ekblad 81 12 27 12 39
B. Boyes 78 14 24 11 38
A. Barkov 71 16 20 -4 36
J. Hayes 72 19 16 -4 35
B. Campbell 82 3 24 4 27
B. Pirri 49 22 2 6 24
D. Bolland 53 6 17 4 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 28 19 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 6 7 2 .892 3.01
 
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