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The Montreal Canadiens need to take the right lessons from Game 4

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A win would have been nice, but the series isn’t over.

Vegas Golden Knights v Montreal Canadiens - Game Four Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens probably should have won Game 4 of their Stanley Cup semi-final game against the Vegas Golden Knights. They dominated most of the play but fell short in overtime.

In many ways, it was a reverse of Game 3. Vegas was the better team for the majority of that game but Montreal won in overtime. The 2-2 series through four games is probably the just result.

However disappointing not going up 3-1 in the series after a game like they played on Sunday was for the Canadiens, they will win more games than they lose when they play that. If they play more games like they did Game 3, they will lose more than they win.

It wasn’t a perfect game from the Canadiens, and there are things to clean up and to improve. The reason people pay attention to shot attempts, possession, expected goals and high danger chances in hockey is because having the advantage in those areas consistently is a way to put you in the best place to succeed. It may not work every game, but over a season it will.

The problem is, a playoff series is not a season. There isn’t always time for things to even out. It just so happens that things evened out in two consecutive games this time, and the result is the same: a tied series.

So while playing like they did in Game 4 will give them the best chance in Game 5 on Tuesday, at the end of the day, the only thing that will matter is the result. They will have to now win at least one more game in Vegas in order to win the series.

People will likely say that the Golden Knights now have momentum going into Game 5, and that may very well be the case, but momentum is only as good as your next game’s performance. And even that performance may not give you the result you should expect.

Hockey, right?