BOSTON — Captain Steven Stamkos has had many painful memories at The TD Garden.
He took a shot off the face in a 1-0 Game 7 loss in the 2011 Eastern Conference final.
He broke his right leg crashing into the goalpost Nov. 12, 2013.
He lost 10 consecutive regular-season games in this building, the Lightning's house of horrors.
But Stamkos, 25, flipped the script Monday, notching his 500th career point in a 6-3 come-from-behind win over the Bruins. It was Tampa Bay's first regular-season victory here since March 25, 2010. The way Stamkos scored his milestone goal was fitting, a rocket one-timer from the left circle on the power play, giving Tampa Bay a 4-3 lead late in the second period.
"He's probably had 250 of those," defenseman Victor Hedman quipped. "Haven't seen that in a while, though. Typical Stammer right there."
Stamkos, who reached the mark in just 495 games (278 goals, 222 assists), knew he was one shy of No. 500 and collected the souvenir puck.
"It's special," Stamkos said. "You never know how much opportunity, or how long you're going to be around in the league. So to get 500 points, I think I'm very fortunate. You think of all the people that helped you along the way to get to this point."
It looked pretty ugly early. The Bruins (0-3), who coach Claude Julien said were determined to not play "second fiddle" to the Eastern Conference champions, dominated the sloppy Lightning (3-0), taking a 2-0 lead with two power-play goals in the first 10 minutes. "It could have easily been a 'Here we go again' moment," Stamkos said.
But coach Jon Cooper said the Brian Boyle-Vladislav Namestnikov-J.T. Brown line helped turn the game around. Boyle, a Hingham, Mass., native, scored the first of his two goals with five minutes left in the first, finishing off a beautiful feed from Hedman. "That gave a real lift on the bench," Cooper said. "Then the power play came through."
Sixty-eight seconds later, Ondrej Palat scored a power-play goal, a crafty deflection of a Tyler Johnson pass, tying the score.
Cooper noted it was a significant mental hurdle to beat Boston. "You see the spoked 'B' and you're like, 'Ugh,' " he said.
But Tampa Bay took a step in snatching five points from the Bruins late last season.
"This is a different team," Stamkos said. "We have that experience, that calmness, the ability to realize there's still a lot of hockey left, and that showed (Monday)."
Goalie Ben Bishop, winning his third straight start, gave the Lightning a chance, preventing the Bruins from taking a 3-0 lead with a great pad save on David Pastrnak in the first. Hedman noted the Lightning still has some "flaws in our game," including slow starts, but has found ways to win, important since Tampa Bay opens with 11 of 16 on the road. There has been spectacular depth, 13 goals scored by 10 different players, and a timely power play.
And, of course, there's Stamkos, who has goals in back-to-back games, his 500 points "pretty remarkable" for his age, Hedman said.
Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec got his 500th Saturday at age 32.
"Hopefully," Stamkos says, "Lots more to come."
Contact Joe Smith at email@example.com. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.
First Period—1, Boston, Krejci 2 (Krug, Bergeron), 2:59 (pp). 2, Boston, Eriksson 1 (Krug, Krejci), 11:02 (pp). 3, Tampa Bay, Boyle 1 (Hedman, Namestnikov), 15:42. 4, Tampa Bay, Palat 1 (Johnson, Stralman), 16:51 (pp). Penalties—Carle, TB (hooking), 2:41; Namestnikov, TB (holding), 10:39; Bergeron, Bos (goaltender interference), 15:58.
Second Period—5, Tampa Bay, Boyle 2, 4:48. 6, Boston, Eriksson 2 (Krejci, Krug), 12:20 (pp). 7, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 2 (Stralman, Johnson), 15:17 (pp). Penalties—Sustr, TB (hooking), 2:44; Krejci, Bos (goaltender interference), 6:34; Carle, TB (high-sticking), 11:01; Bergeron, Bos (hooking), 14:13.
Third Period—8, Tampa Bay, Drouin 1 (Condra, Hedman), 5:38. 9, Tampa Bay, Filppula 1 (Killorn, Brown), 15:58. Penalties—Pastrnak, Bos (goaltender interference), 12:38. Shots on Goal—Tampa Bay 9-8-6—23. Boston 13-10-7—30. Power-play opportunities—Tampa Bay 2 of 4; Boston 3 of 4. Goalies—Tampa Bay, Bishop 3-0-0 (30 shots-27 saves). Boston, Rask 0-3-0 (23-17). A—17,565 (17,565). T—2:30. Referees—Dave Jackson, Trevor Hanson. Linesmen—Tony Sericolo, Mike Cvik.