New kids can't halt skid

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

DETROIT -- Jim Playfair didn't expect the youngsters to put up great numbers in their NHL debuts.

The Calgary Flames head coach wasn't looking for Dustin Boyd and Brandon Prust to light up the scoreboard. He was looking for something less quantifiable.

Playfair, who inserted both recent call-ups into his lineup last night against the Detroit Red Wings, did so with the hope Boyd and Prust would provide some of the confidence and enthusiasm they've collected from the red-hot AHL Omaha Knights.

"They've been winning down there, they expect to win and that's what we want them to bring to our dressing room," Playfair said.

Neither Boyd nor Prust registered a point or even a shot on goal in a 3-2 loss to the Red Wings.

Centre Jamie Lundmark and left wing Byron Ritchie were scratched to make room for the first-time NHLers.

The struggling Flames have no shortage of candidates deserving to be scratched due to poor play.

But Playfair insisted that wasn't the reason the pair were summoned.

"They're here to help us win," Playfair said.

"However people interpret that is their prerogative but it's about winning hockey games."

Certainly Boyd and Prust have done their share this season. The Knights, a team loaded with players on their first pro contracts, are the surprise squad of the AHL, with an 8-0-1 mark.

Boyd, a first-year pro selected in the third-round of the 2004 draft, has been leading the way offensively for the Knights, with four goals and nine assists.

"My confidence is really high but you want to be confident and not cocky," said Boyd. "I just have to go out


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