Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Milan Lucic recorded a natural hat trick and Tuukka Rask stopped all 41 shots he faced, leading the Boston Bruins to a 4-0 victory over the Florida Panthers.
Lucic's hat trick is the second of his career and provides a highlight for his good start to the season. The 22-year-old forward has scored 10 goals with seven assists, and has provided at least one point in 14 of 17 games.
Nathan Horton assisted on all of Lucic's goals, helping Boston win its third consecutive game. Rask's shutout is his first of the season.
Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on 40 shots for the Panthers, who were 0- for-5 on the power play and have lost two of three.
"Tuukka Rask was our power-play problem," said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer. "It wasn't our power play. We generated plenty of chances on the power play, but when you have a goalie that plays like that, that's the power-play problem."
Lucic recorded his first goal with 4:23 left in the first period, when he got control of the puck in the right circle and fired a high shot past Vokoun.
The game was still 1-0 well into the third period, but Lucic cashed in during a rush. Thanks to a sharp backhand pass from Horton, Lucic carried the puck through the neutral zone as he raced up the right side of the ice. He set up in the circle and snapped a shot that beat Vokoun to the glove side with 5:18 left in regulation.
The Bruins were back on the attack just after the faceoff, as Patrice Bergeron had possession near the left side of the net and tried to send a pass across the crease. Vokoun deflected the puck, which then sat in the crease, and Lucic crashed in and pushed in his third goal, just 15 seconds after the previous one.
"They were hanging around, and we didn't do enough to kind of put them away," Lucic said. "They were kind of lingering around, lingering around; they had their chances, too. It was nice to get that second one to put them on their heels, and also that third one kind of buried them."
Shawn Thornton's goal with 3:54 remaining completed the scoring.
Lucic recorded his first career hat trick on October 25, 2008 against Atlanta...Bergeron finished with two assists...Rask has seven career shutouts...Florida had won its last two games in Boston.