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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 / 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 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 63 22 16 -8 38
J. Huberdeau 60 9 27 4 36
J. Jokinen 62 6 28 0 34
A. Ekblad 63 10 23 8 33
B. Boyes 61 11 21 9 32
J. Jagr 59 12 19 -9 31
J. Hayes 54 17 10 -5 27
B. Campbell 63 3 20 3 23
A. Barkov 52 10 12 -4 22
T. Fleischmann 52 7 14 12 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 23 16 11 .920 2.40
A. Montoya 5 6 2 .891 2.98
 
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