It is never easy for the Lightning in Boston.
Whether it's freaky goals, last-minute breakdowns or blowouts, Tampa Bay has seen and suffered it all in the Hub of Hockey.
It was no different Thursday night in Tampa Bay's 4-3 shootout loss at TD Banknorth Garden, where it has won just twice in 26 games.
The shootout went seven rounds before Boston rookie Phil Kessel beat Lightning goaltender Marc Denis. Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who was superb making 31 saves in regulation and overtime, was perfect in the shootout.
It was Tampa Bay's first shootout loss in three tries.
It was a crazy game.
Consider the Lightning, which entered with the league's worst penalty kill, and the Bruins, who had the worst at home, killed off a combined eight power plays (Tampa Bay was 0-for-6), and each scored shorthanded.
And what would a game in Boston be without a video review?
You remember, of course, the hotly disputed goal Boston's Zdeno Chara scored Nov. 4. There was no dispute Thursday when Thomas dived to close down an open net and steal a goal from Marty St. Louis 3:13 into the third period with the score tied at 2.
Vinny Lecavalier scored his 12th goal at 9:50 to give the Lightning (13-11-2) a 3-2 lead. But Glen Murray answered with 9:05 remaining to tie the score at 3.
Eric Perrin scored and had an assist.
St. Louis scored shorthanded to extend his team record to 19, and Denis lost his sixth straight but was outstanding and made 22 saves.
Thomas was the difference, and his stop on St. Louis was breathtaking as he reached back with his stick and dived on the skidding puck.
Boston took the lead with 8:54 left in the first period when Brad Boyes backhanded a shot out of the air past Denis.
The play began with Patrice Bergeron racing down right wing and swinging behind the Lightning net. Bergeron emerged and put a backhander on Denis, who made the stick save. But the puck popped in the air, and Boyes, left alone in front of the net, swatted at the puck and connected.
Perrin evened the score with 2:52 left with a slap shot. St. Louis' shorthanded goal at 3:47 gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. Perrin gained the puck on an offensive-zone turnover and passed through the legs of Boyes right to St. Louis.
The Bruins answered with 1:34 remaining with P.J. Axelsson's shorthanded goal on the tail end of a two-on-one break.