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Predators' Dunham robs Keefe

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 27, 2001

NASHVILLE -- It's a good bet Sheldon Keefe saw Mike Dunham in his sleep Wednesday night.

Twice Keefe had the Predators goaltender at his mercy in front of the net. Both times the Lightning right wing was robbed by Dunham's sprawling glove saves.

"He played pretty well," Keefe said after Tampa Bay's 1-0 victory at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. "When he does that double-stack of the pads, he fills up almost the whole net."

The good news is that the line of Keefe, center Vinny Lecavalier and Zden Ciger continues to produce scoring chances.

The first came 7:05 into the second period. The pass from Ciger, who got the original feed from Lecavalier, gave Keefe a wide-open shot. Keefe tried to go high, but Dunham, who will play for the United States Olympic team, lunged to make the stop.

The second came at 2:33 of the third off a feed from Lecavalier. But Dunham, who made 21 saves, was there.

"I tried to go high, which is what you're supposed to do," said Keefe, who has a goal and two assists in six games since being called up from AHL Springfield. "The first one I should have tried to bring it back to my backhand. ... The second one was a bang-bang play. There was nothing much more I could do with that."

YOU TRIED TO DO WHAT? David Legwand could not believe the Lightning was, for a time, listening to trade offers for center Vinny Lecavalier.

The Predators center knows how good Lecavalier can be. They roomed together in Toronto at the combine before the 1998 draft. Lecavalier was selected No. 1 overall by Tampa Bay. Legwand, whom the Lightning considered taking, was picked next by Nashville.

"They are not going to trade a player of his caliber," Legwand said. "He's obviously someone who you are going to build around and someone who is going to be there for a long time."

HE WON'T BITE: Considering his myriad bumps and bruises, it was suggested to Lightning left wing Fredrik Modin that not making the Swedish Olympic team would allow time to get healthy. "I'm not looking at it like that at all," he said. "I wanted to be on that team."

ODDS AND ENDS: Forward Vinny Prospal did not make the trip because of the flu. ... Forward Brian Holzinger, who has missed 12 of the past 14 games with a slight rotator cuff tear, is day-to-day. ... Defenseman Josef Boumedienne was a healthy scratch. ... Left wing Gordie Dwyer played in his first game since his recall from AHL Springfield on Dec. 15. ... Saturday's game against the Bruins at the Ice Palace is at 6 p.m.

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