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The Calgary Flames are hoping the addition of one of the league's most sought-after defensemen can help them avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season.
The Flames will visit the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, just a day after acquiring Brad Stuart as part of a four-player trade.
Calgary (29-18-8) picked up Stuart and forward Wayne Primeau from Boston for defenseman Andrew Ference and forward Chuck Kobasew. Stuart had seven goals and 10 assists in 47 games for the Bruins, but was rumored to be dealt after having trouble working out a new contract with them.
He had a career-high 43 points in 2005-06 with San Jose and Boston.
"It became evident that when I wasn't having success signing Brad, that I was going to have to trade Brad," Bruins first-year general manager Peter Chiarelli said.
Primeau recorded seven goals and eight assists in 51 contests this season for Boston, but hasn't recorded a point in the last 13. He and Stuart were both part of the deal that sent eventual league MVP Joe Thornton to San Jose on Nov. 30, 2005.
Stuart and Primeau played in Boston's 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. It's not immediately known if they'll play for their new team Sunday.
Calgary could use Stuart's help as it has been unable to protect third-period leads in each of three straight losses. The Flames held a one-goal lead late Saturday, but allowed Buffalo's Daniel Briere to get the equalizer with less than four minutes remaining en route to a 3-2 shootout defeat to the Eastern Conference-leading Sabres.
The Flames haven't lost four straight since Oct. 28-Nov. 3.
"We need to bear down a little bit more," said David Moss, who scored a power-play goal for the Flames. "We played well for the most part of the game, but they got a break and capitalized on it."
Kristian Huselius also scored for the Flames to extend his NHL-best point streak to 15 games, tallying 10 goals and 11 assists during that stretch. He had a goal and an assist in Calgary's 4-1 win over Detroit on Nov. 17.
Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Miikka Kiprusoff is 3-1-1 with a 1.58 goals-against average in his last five starts versus the Red Wings.
He'll likely be in net again to face a Detroit squad trying to rebound from its first shutout loss since Jan. 7, 2004. The Red Wings (35-15-6) were outshot 16-3 in the first period Thursday and lost 1-0 to St. Louis, snapping a five-game winning streak.
"We got off to such a slow start and on back-to-back nights you can't get off to a slow start and give them more life," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
Detroit has outscored opponents 44-17 during an 11-game home winning streak at Joe Louis Arena. That's propelled the Red Wings to one of the Western Conference's best home records at 20-3-3.
They have split two meetings with Calgary this season, but have won six of the last eight matchups in Detroit. The Flames also have dropped four in a row on the road.
Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek is trying to extend his personal winning streak to six overall games. A six-time Vezina winner, Hasek is 19-2-3 with a 1.61 GAA in 24 home starts this season.
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