In NHL Hockey, a game played by two teams that are close in the standings in which the team with the worse record has the opportunity to score two points, causing the team with the better record to lose the opportunity to score two points (with a loss). The "net" result of the contest would therefore add up to four points.
During games played by division or conference rivals in which
both teams are close in the standings (separated by very few
points), commentators or broadcasters will often refer to the game
as a "four-point game" due to the potential point swing following
the conclusion of the game. If the team with the lesser record wins
and their opponent loses (in regulation), they will score two
points while their opponent loses the opportunity to score two
Points in the standings are awarded based on wins and losses. A win in regulation, overtime or as the result of a shootout awards the winning team with two points. A loss in regulation results in zero points for the losing team, although a loss in overtime or a shootout still awards one point. Although an overtime/shootout loss between two close teams would not constitute a "four-point game," the game can still be considered as such from the beginning, as it has the potential to result in a four-point swing.