That's a tough one.
The Blue Jackets created plenty of scoring chances, but they struggled to put them past old friend Sergei Bobrovsky. They hit several posts, and despite a third-period push, they couldn't do enough to get the win tonight. The Panthers were victorious at Nationwide Arena by a final score of 4-2, despite a solid effort in net from Joonas Korpisalo.
Florida got the scoring started in the first period. Juho Lammiko found himself with plenty of space in the neutral zone, and he burst into the Blue Jackets' defensive zone with speed. His backhand attempt beat Korpisalo.
In the second period, Patric Hornqvist gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead on a deflection for a power-play goal. The Blue Jackets weren't going down without a fight, and they cut the lead in half via Michael Del Zotto's second goal of the year. Alexandre Texier made a great pass to Eric Robinson, who in turn found Del Zotto. The defenseman then slotted the puck past Bobrovsky to give the Blue Jackets some hope.
With less than two minutes remaining in the middle frame, the Panthers regained their two-goal cushion with another power-play tally, this one coming from Owen Tippett's first goal of the season.
The third period saw a big push from the Blue Jackets which culminated in Oliver Bjorkstrand's eighth goal of the season. The Danish winger deflected a Zach Werenski shot past Bobrovsky to make it a 3-2 game with 8:22 remaining.
That was as close as the Blue Jackets would get. They got a power play with 3:01 remaining, and went 6-on-4 after pulling Korpisalo, but the Panthers would add an empt-netter with 22.4 seconds left for the 4-2 victory.
The Blue Jackets will host the Panthers once again on Thursday night, with puck drop slated for 7:00 P.M.