JACK­ETS

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“Our fo­cus has got to be on Game 3 and Game 3 only. We’ve got a good chance. Two over­time wins, that can re­ally hurt a team, but we’ve got to be ready for their best ef­fort when we go home.”

Colum­bus put it­self in great po­si­tion com­ing back home and is one of two teams — San Jose is the other — to open with two road wins this play­off sea­son.

The Jack­ets could not have done bet­ter, as far as re­sults go, yet know this se­ries is a long way from be­ing com­plete.

“We’re in a good spot, but by no means is this thing over,” de­fense­man Seth Jones said. “We’ve got to get to four games.”

Ian Cole won the Stan­ley Cup with the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins the past two sea­sons, so he knows a thing or two about how a play­off se­ries works.

“The job isn’t over,” Cole said, “and there’s a lot left to ac­com­plish. If we rest on our lau­rels, they’re good enough to get right back in this thing.”

For a young Colum­bus team — one hold­ing a se­ries lead for the first time in fran­chise his­tory — keep­ing an eye on the next game is key. Blue Jack­ets coach John Tor­torella said his play­ers have gained con­fi­dence in their two vic­to­ries against the Cap­i­tals, “but by no means do we have it all fig­ured out.”

When the Jack­ets were in the midst of their im­pres­sive run to the play­offs by win­ning 16 of 21 games to earn a spot, they didn’t ap­pear to look too far ahead.

Con­tin­u­ing that fo­cus in the post­sea­son would serve them well.

“I think there’s a mind­set — and it’s a bridge I think we crossed, and hope we stay on the right side of — that we are there to win, not hope to win,” coach John Tor­torella

said. “As we went through the process as a young team over the past cou­ple of years, it was hop­ing, ‘maybe we’ll find a way.’ Now it’s a bit of a swag­ger they have. They’re on the right side of it, but by no means do we have it all fig­ured out.”

As for the Cap­i­tals, go­ing down 0-2 with two over­time losses is def­i­nitely not an op­ti­mal start. Yet it’s not the end of the world for Wash­ing­ton, ei­ther.

The Cap­i­tals, one of the most tal­ented of­fen­sive teams in the league, threw up 58 shots at goalie Sergei Bo­brovsky on Sun­day.

“Ob­vi­ously, it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go,” Cap­i­tals coach Barry Trotz said, “but I have a lot of be­lief in this group.”

Last year, the Cap­i­tals ad­vanced out of the first round, only to lose the first two at home to the Pen­guins in the con­fer­ence semi­fi­nals. Wash­ing­ton did not fold, win­ning three of the next four games to force a Game 7 it would lose.

“Our group has a lot of fight in it,” Trotz said. “We’re not go­ing away. We’re go­ing to be around, and you’re go­ing to see us dig in. And you’re go­ing to see us fight. And you’re go­ing to see us make some­thing hap­pen here.”

The Blue Jack­ets just want to con­tinue what they started in Wash­ing­ton.

“It’s great to get these wins against a ter­rific team,” Cole said. “It’s fun to be a part of this, the bat­tle and the com­pete level this team has. … But this is a long way from be­ing done.”

grichards@dis­patch.com @Ge­orgeRichards

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