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First Round

Blue Jackets familiar with leading after Game 2 of series

Will try to defeat Lightning after losing to Capitals in same position last season

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- The Columbus Blue Jackets know what it's like to return home with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round.

They hope the series result is different this time around.

The Blue Jackets defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 in Game 2 at Amalie Arena on Friday, adding to their come-from-behind 4-3 win of Wednesday, and are headed back to Nationwide Arena for Game 3 on Sunday (7 p.m. ET: NBCSN, SN360, TVA, FS-O, SUN).

"We've been in this position before, so we should have a sour taste in our mouth," Columbus forward Cam Atkinson said. "Like I said, it's a series for a reason. They are the best team in the League, and [as] soon as you take your foot [off] the gas pedal they're going to capitalize on their opportunities."

 

[RELATED: Blue Jackets extend lead with Game 2 win | Complete series coverage]

 

Last season, the Blue Jackets won the first two games, each in overtime, at the Washington Capitals before losing the next four.

"I think each playoff series is kind of its own," Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski said. "We can take certain things away from last year being up 2-0, but Sunday is a whole new game against a whole new team. So we just have to go out there, play our game and play like we have been."

The Blue Jackets are 7-16 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and have never advanced past the first round or played a Game 7. They are 2-7 in playoff games at home.

Video: Bobrovsky, offense power Columbus' 2-0 series lead

"This team here, Columbus, it's a team that's fighting for respect in this league," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I don't think we've truly gotten the respect, and probably rightfully so. It's a hard league to gain respect. It's the lay of the land in the National Hockey League.

"You've got to earn your stripes as far as respect. I think that we're trying to find our way that way. We look at things a little bit differently than other teams as far as adversity and stuff like that. We're going to try to be ourselves, try to handle the situations, and just go about our business."

The Lightning tied an NHL record with 62 wins this regular season, and last season lost the first two games of the Eastern Conference Final at home before losing Game 7 to the Capitals.

Tampa Bay has won one playoff series when trailing 2-0, a 2003 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal against the Capitals.

"We're in a tough position, but we're not going to quit," Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. "We've got to take a page out of their book and go on the road and win a hockey game. We just got to focus on Game 3. It's tough, it just hasn't gone our way right now."

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