SUN Hockey Pool

Bring on the Wings!

Edmonton Oilers' Jarret Stoll celebrates after scoring the short-handed game winner Monday night...

Edmonton Oilers' Jarret Stoll celebrates after scoring the short-handed game winner Monday night against the Colorado Avalanche. (Edmonton Sun/Darryl Dyck)

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

"We didn't bring a deck of cards."

So quipped the Detroit duo of Dave Lewis and Bob McCammon, who spent last night perched in the press box at Rexall Place for another sneak peek at the Edmonton Oilers.

With a half-dozen regulars sitting - Ethan Moreau, Chris Pronger, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Smyth - plus Ty Conklin tending twine after 19 straight starts by Dwayne Roloson, the Oilers didn't tip their hand to the Red Wings' advance scouts in their final regular-season game of 2005-06.

Eighth place in the Western Conference and a first-round date with the Red Wings assured, the Oilers didn't show the Colorado Avalanche any trade secrets either, but their B-lineup came up with a reasonable facsimile of an A-game in front of their 40th sellout crowd in a 4-2 win.

Now, the real season begins.

"I think we played very smart," said Jarret Stoll, who got the winner short-handed with just over five minutes to play with a sizzling snapshot.

"We played very simple. It was a different feeling, obviously, not having anything to play for in the standings."

FIVE OF EIGHT POINTS

Having taken five of a possible eight points from Detroit in the season series, there's nothing another look-see by Lewis and McCammon could tell the Red Wings they didn't already know.

This was about coach Craig MacTavish giving his horses a breather. The win was a bonus.

"That just confirms my philosophy that the less you want something, the more likelihood of it occurring," MacTavish said. "This was a game that we really didn't care all that much about, so automatic win."

Rem Murray, getting a chance to play in just his ninth game, made the most of it with the 1-0 goal. Edmonton's Masterton Trophy candidate, making a comeback from a career-threatening muscle condition known as cervical dystonia, knocked a loose puck behind Jose Theodore with just 24 seconds to play in the opening period.

Joe Sakic got that back 12:28 into the second period to keep Colorado even through 40 minutes. But then came Raffi Torres, who has been red-hot against the Avalanche all season, getting the go-ahead goal.

It was Torres's 27th goal, and his fourth against the Avs, as he banged a Michael Peca pass behind Theodore 46 seconds into the third period.

It was his first goal after seven games and his sixth point of the season against Colorado.

"There's still four or five guys trying to get into the lineup opening night for the playoffs," said MacTavish, who dressed rookies J.F. Jacques, Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Matt Greene.

With the game even again on a goal by Patrice Brisebois against the flow of the play, Stoll settled it with a top-shelf snapshot from the slot on a feed from Radek Dvorak for his 22nd goal, before Jaroslav Spacek hit an empty net with one second to play to close the scoring.

YOUNG GUYS, GREAT JOB

"We wanted to win this game pretty bad," Stoll said. "It's the last home game of the regular season for the fans. It's our 20th win at home, which is something we wanted, too. The young guys did a great job. There was a lot of energy out of those guys, and we got a big win."

BY THE NUMBERS: The Oilers finish the season 41-28-13 for 95 points, their highest total since they put up 99 points from a record of 44-25-11 during the 1987-88 season, a campaign in which they hoisted their fourth Stanley Cup.

AROUND THE RINK: Murray's goal was his first NHL goal since Dec. 29, 2003 against San Jose . . . Sakic's goal was the 574th of his career, moving him past Mike Bossy into 17th place in NHL career goal-scoring ... Conklin saw his first game action since making an appearance against Dallas, March 7 ... Igor Ulanov drew into the lineup after sitting out 22 games, playing in a pairing with Jason Smith.


Videos

Photos