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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.''

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 74 13 36 9 49
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jagr 72 15 26 -3 41
J. Jokinen 76 8 33 -4 41
B. Boyes 74 13 23 10 36
A. Ekblad 76 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 67 18 14 -6 32
A. Barkov 66 14 17 -3 31
B. Campbell 77 3 23 2 26
B. Pirri 44 21 2 6 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 18 12 .921 2.35
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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