CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Curtis McElhinney ended up wiping
shaving cream from his eyes after a game that was anything but
meaningless for the Calgary backup goalie.
McElhinney made 35 saves for his first NHL victory, Mike
Cammalleri scored two goals and added an assist, and the Flames
beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Saturday night in the
regular-season finale for both teams.
"My left eye is burning considerably right now, but for the win
they could put anything in my face tonight. It felt great,"
McElhinney, starting in place of workhorse Miikka Kiprusoff,
improved to 1-6-1 this season and 1-8-1 overall. The former
Colorado College star has started seven games and made 19 NHL
"Obviously it's been a long time," McElhinney said.
"Unfortunately, I've been here for over 100 games and I've had
to be extremely patient playing behind Kip, but tonight felt
great and it's a nice way for us to head into the playoffs."
Craig Conroy and Jamie Lundmark also scored for the Flames,
relegated to the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs
after Vancouver beat Colorado to win the Northwest Division.
Calgary will face fourth-seeded Chicago in the first round.
"Now we know we're going to start on the road and we're going to
get ready for that," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said.
"Chicago, we think, is a good matchup for us. It's going to be a
really good atmosphere in both buildings. They've got a good
young team. It's going to be great and I'm looking forward to
Conroy praised the 25-year-old McElhinney.
"Unbelievable, he was our best player by far," Conroy said. "He
was fun to watch. He is that good. He just doesn't get many
opportunities and when he does, it's usually back-to-back and
you know we haven't played that well in back-to-backs."
Defenseman Tom Gilbert scored for the Oilers, out of the
playoffs for the third straight season since losing to Carolina
in the 2006 Stanley Cup final. The Oilers lost eight of their
final 11 games.
"It's tough to get up for these last couple games when you're
not playing for much," Edmonton winger Andrew Cogliano said. "We
had so many games that mattered in the past 25 games or so and
to come and play two games at the end here that really didn't
matter much was tough."
After Gilbert opened the scoring at 2:19 of the first period,
Cammalleri tied it at 8:26 of the second. Cammalleri put a
backhander toward the net that went through defenseman Taylor
Chorney's legs and then through goalie Jeff Deslauriers's pads.
Cammalleri, set to become an unrestricted free agent after the
season, put the Flames ahead with 4:08 left in the period with
his team-high 39th goal. Cammalleri's shot from the slot found
the top corner beyond Delaurier's glove.
Conroy and Lundmark scored in the third period.