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Devin Shore playing with a lot of confidence

Versatile forward putting together solid first NHL season

by Mark Stepneski @StarsInsideEdge / Inside Edge

Stars forward Devin Shore has seen the video clips of his goal celebration from Tuesday night, his tongue hanging way out and his arms pumping just before he leaps into the glass.

"It was embarrassing," Shore said with a smile after Wednesday's practice, "but it was raw emotion."

It was a slick goal worthy of celebration and some raw emotion. It staked the Stars to an early 1-0 lead and fueled a five-goal first period that was key in the 6-3 win over Toronto coming out of the All-Star break.

Tweet from @DallasStars: wait for it... #TORvsDAL pic.twitter.com/faNMYNnGty

Shore, who also assisted on the second goal of Tuesday's game, has been on a nice run lately. He has registered eight points (two goals, six assists) and a plus-five rating over the past eleven games. The 22-year-old Shore, who is in his first full NHL season, has played in all 51 games for the Stars this season, recording 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) and a plus-three rating.

"I've seen a lot [growth]. He's a young man that's playing the game with a lot of confidence," said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. "I think right now he's skating as well as he's skated all year, but I think the point where things started to go better his direction scoring was he got inside, got around the paint."

"It's been pretty good," Shore said. "With my style of play you want to make sure you are contributing at both ends of the ice and doing a lot of things right. You want to contribute offensively, but you want to be trusted in your own end and look to play a complete game. Some nights might be a little flashier than others, but you want to approach it with the same mentality and make smart decisions and string good plays together."

Shore, a second-round pick (61st overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, has always been touted as a versatile, two-way forward, and he has been just that for the Stars this season. He's played both center and wing and has moved up and down the lineup.

"He's been multi-purpose for me," Ruff said. "He's gone to the wing, he's been in the middle. And he's stayed pretty consistent. There hasn't been a lot of drop off, that big dip in his play."

Recently, Shore has developed some nice chemistry playing left wing with center Radek Faksa and right wing Patrick Sharp. That line was superb in Tuesday's win over Toronto, producing two goals in the first five minutes of the game.

"We cover a lot of ground with our style of play," Shore said of the trio. "Faksa is the heaviest on his stick and the most responsible. Sharp has his speed, and I try to contribute in any way I can on both ends of the ice. We all get along well off the ice, which I think is important too. You can communicate on the bench when you get along and hold each other accountable, and that's really important as well."

Shore has developed a nice relationship with the veteran Sharp. The two sit next to each other in the locker room, and they have built a bond both on and off the ice. The 35-year-old Sharp has plenty of experience and Shore is more than willing to be a sponge.  

"I lean on him, whether it's picking his brain about the game or his time winning Cups or his career or shooting the breeze about absolutely nothing at all," Shore said. "I hit the lottery when I got to sit beside him. He's an awesome teammate, and I think that has been translating out on the ice right now with Faksa as well, who is a tremendous player as well."

And Sharp said he is a bit of a sponge when it comes to absorbing Shore's upbeat approach to just about everything.

"He's awesome," Sharp said. "I like hanging around him on and off the ice. I sit beside him at the game rink and the practice rink. I know there's a little bit of an age gap between us, but I find myself following him around. He's always positive, and he's always got a smile on his face. That's contagious."

Shore's positive attitude helped him shake off some adversity the past two seasons. He missed the last half of the 2015-16 season with the Texas Stars due to shoulder surgery. Then, he missed almost all of Dallas' training camp this season due to an ankle injury. But he earned himself an NHL roster spot out of camp and hasn't looked back, enjoying the ride all the way.

"This is probably more [than I expected]," Shore said. "It's a thrill to come to the rink every day and see an NHL logo on your jersey and be with such a great organization like this. Coming up through the whole process of development camps and the American Hockey League, it's a really cool feeling."

This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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