Not that the outcome — a 1-0 Boston victory at TD Garden — would have necessarily been different. It's just that "it would have been nice to have that game in Tampa."

"It is called home-ice advantage for a reason," Stamkos said.

Tampa Bay, with a victory over the Capitals today in its regular-season finale at the Verizon Center, will get home-ice advantage in its first-round playoff series with the Canadiens.

A win puts the Lightning second in the Atlantic Division with 101 points, one ahead of Montreal. The Canadiens, whose season ended Saturday with a win, have the tiebreaker if both teams finish with 100.

"It's in our power," Stamkos said. "The fans deserve it. Our city deserves it, and we certainly deserve it with how hard we've played and the amount of adversity we've overcome as a team."

Where does home ice really come into play? It is easy to point to a Game 7. But the home team gets the last personnel change, so having that advantage in four of seven games can be big, as is the chance to take advantage of the powerful emotional lift that can be gained from the home crowd.