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BACK IN, BACK DOWN: Panthers Activate Barkov, Play Gudbranson ... Shore Sent to San Antonio

COLUMBUS, Ohio --Despite playing well, Drew Shore was a victim of the numbers game as he was assigned to AHL San Antonio following Saturday's morning skate.

With the Florida roster at 23, it needed to make some sort of move to get Barkov off the injured list. The only players who could go to San Antonio without clearing waivers first was Shore and second-line center Nick Bjugstad.

Shore flew home with the Panthers and plans to join his Rampage teammates Sunday.

By heading back now, Shore is eligible to play for the Rampage during the Olympic break.

"I think being a young guy, [playing] is a good thing,'' he said before the game, before knowing he was definitely headed back.

"I suspect that, just seeing how things are going. They want me to keep playing and I think it's a positive. It would be nice to have the break, don't get me wrong, but this game is all about rythym and flow. I don't think taking a few weeks off would do me some good.''

-- Defenseman Erik Gudbranson ditched his protective cage and returned to the lineup Saturday. Wearing just a traditional visor, Gudbranson played after being scratched in the previous three games.

Gudbranson had surgery to repair a broken orbital bone in December and had been wearing a restrictive full cage since returning on Jan. 6. Dylan Olsen sat in Gudbranson's place.

"I think the half visor will minimize the risk but not having the jaw piece is nice,'' Gudbranson said. "I'm very excitied. This past week hasn't exactly be easy but this is my chance to get back in the lineup and hopefully stay there.''