Alex Lyon made 21 saves to post his first career shutout. He was making his third straight start in place of two-time Vezina Trophy recipient Sergei Bobrovsky, who has been sidelined by a non-COVID illness.
Sam Reinhart collected a goal and two assists, Eric Staal had one of each and Nick Cousins also scored as the Panthers (39-31-7, 85 points) moved into sole possession of the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Florida won its third game in a row in a row to leapfrog Pittsburgh mere hours after the Penguins dropped a 4-3 decision to the Boston Bruins
Michael Hutchinson turned aside 42 shots for the Blue Jackets (23-44-8, 54 points), who have lost four in a row and 11 of their last 14 games (3-9-2)
With his team on the power play, Reinhart converted his third whack at a loose puck following Matthew Tkachuk's centering feed to open the scoring at 12:03 of the first period. Reinhart's goal was his 29th of the season and 15th with the man advantage.
Verhaeghe doubled the advantage with 2:31 remaining in the first period after one-timing defenseman Gustav Forsling's centering pass past Hutchinson.
Verhaeghe completed his third career hat trick in short order. He cleaned up a rebound of defenseman Aaron Ekblad's point shot at 18 seconds of the second period before his wrist shot from the left circle beat Hutchinson at 6:34.
Verhaeghe has eight goals and five assists in 12 career games versus Columbus.
Cousins roofed a shot over a prone Hutchinson at 8:34 of the third period before Verhaeghe converted at the doorstep at 11:18 to boost his goal total to a team-high 40. Staal capped the scoring just under three minutes later.
--Field Level Media