It was men against boys. Or, rather, boys against Flames.

Same thing.

Just hours after GM Steve Tambellini stood pat on trade deadline day, giving his young team a chance to finish what it started, the Oilers responded with a show of force that shook the Calgary Saddledome and everybody in it.

Edmonton scored eight straight times to erase an early 2-0 deficit, win their fifth in a row and move into sole possession of eighth place.

Yes, it came against Flames, but, still, it was stunning to watch.

With all of Edmonton’s child stars leading the slaughter, the scoring summary must have felt like a knife twisting in the side of Calgary’s fans. Taylor Hall had five points, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had four, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov had two goals each. Sam Gagner had two points.

And the UFA everyone thought was gone? Ryan Whitney had a goal, an assist and a fight.

And the Oilers are eighth. After six years and more growing pains than any of them care to remember, finally, light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’d be lying if I said there haven’t been times last year, or even this year, when you’re thinking, ‘When’s this going to end?’ ” said Eberle, who’s only been here for three years of the misery. “It’s been tough, but in the last 10 or so games we’ve really found our team identity, we’re peaking at the right time. The next step for us is to make the playoffs.”

There’s still a long way to go, against teams a lot better than the Flames, but eighth place on April 3 is no small milestone.

“Nobody outside this room battled to put us in this position, we’ve done it,” said Ryan Jones, one of the UFAs who thought he might be moved. “We’ve been through the (crap) together the last few years, We went through it together and battled to where we are right now.”