Matthias posts hat trick as Canucks beat Bruins

Vancouver, BC ( - Shawn Matthias notched his first career hat trick as the Vancouver Canucks cruised past the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Friday.

Radim Vrbata extended his career-high point streak to eight games with a goal, Zack Kassian assisted on two of Matthias' markers and Jannick Hansen provided an empty-net tally for the Canucks, who were coming off a 5-4 overtime win over Chicago on Wednesday.

"It's surreal," Matthias said of his hat trick. "I'm just happy to contribute and be a part of this team."

Ryan Miller made 21 saves in his 600th NHL game.

Chris Kelly and Patrice Bergeron lit the lamp and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots in Boston's third straight loss.

"It's frustrating as its ever been in my coaching career," Boston head coach Claude Julien said. "We really need our best players to be our best players right now."

Matthias crashed the net and tapped in Kassian's cross-ice feed past Rask for the opening goal 1:41 into the game.

Less than four minutes later, Matthias patiently held the puck and skated across the slot, where he roofed a shot over a downed Rask for a 2-0 Vancouver lead.

Bergeron cut the deficit in half after exiting the penalty box and backhanding his own rebound past Miller in tight at 9:38 of the first.

Vrbata made it a 3-1 game midway through the second. Chris Higgins sent a nifty pass through his legs from behind the net to Vrbata, who cut across the top of the crease and backhanded a shot into the net.

Boston got within one again as Kelly made it a 3-2 game at 5:41 with a turnaround shot from the right circle, but once again Vancouver responded.

Matthias completed the hat trick 24 seconds later by moving in from the right circle and rifling a shot on net. Rask made the initial stop, but Matthias' persistence made it a two-goal game.

Hansen scored on the vacated net with two minutes left to account for the final score.

Game Notes

Vrbata has posted three goals and six assists over his point streak ... Kassian has registered a point in five straight games ... The two teams will meet again on Feb. 24 in Boston.