How does a Goalie get a Win in Hockey? Explained with Scenarios!

How does a Goalie get a Win in Hockey

Have you ever thought of how a goalie gets a win in a hockey match? Usually, observing the goalie’s performance can help determine which team will win the game if there is only one goalie in the whole game. And more precisely, that there is hardly any substitute for the goalie present in one game makes it more predictable about who will face victory or defeat.

How does a goalie get a win in hockey? Usually, the team’s goal when their goalie is in the crease is called the winning one. If this is the last winning goal, the same is for the losing goal. The amount of time spent in the goalie’s net is not relatable. Only the presence of the goalie is when the goal is scored.

Let’s dig out about NHL goalie wins and game-winning goals. Moreover, try to understand scenarios and who is the NHL’s all-time top goalie of the carrier.

What is the game winning goal?

The game-winning goal is the one that is scored by the team to make their scores larger in number than their opposing team. Moreover, the National Hockey League also defines a winning goal as; the goal that makes the team one goal ahead of their opponents when the final score has been determined.

game winning goal

Let’s understand with an example. There is the ice rink, Team 1, and Team 2. They scored 8-3, and the player from Team 1 who scores the fourth goal for his team will be called the goal-winning player. And that goal the goal-winning player scores is called the winning goal.

There is a misunderstanding between the audience about the number of goals the teams make. The number of goals does not matter for the winning goal, just the goal that makes the goals more than the opposing team.

Which goalie gets the win?

The goalie who makes most of the moves during the whole game is the goalie-winning goalie. We will discuss three scenarios of the goalie being a goal-winner in the following section of the blog:

Scenario 1

Let us say that two teams are on the rink, and team A is doing astonishingly well and has scored the fastest goal at first with an overall score of 1 to 0. But what happens next is that the opponents get aggressive and cause the starting goalie to get injured severely.

This was bad, the backup goalie joined the match, and the pace of the game was maintained the same, with the final score of 4 to 0. Team A wins against team B.

Conclusively, who will be the winning goalie for this match? The starting goalie will take the honor as he was the one in the crease when the winning goal was scored by team A. The backup goalie maintained his pace but did not score the winning goal.

Scenario 2

The match is in the third section, and the score is two to one, but unfortunately, the goalie at the start gets into an injury. In this situation, the backup goalie came into action and helped in his capabilities his team. And the score changes from three to two. Here the win belongs to the backup goalie and not the starting goalie, as he was in the net when the third score was scored.

Scenario 3

Let’s suppose that one team in a game got upset with their stomach as they had something terrible from the pre-game meal. Thus, they could not attend the match, but the opposing team forfeited them with four to zero. The coach observed the situation and decided to change the goalie. I respected the previous goalie.

He turned the table with his splendid goalkeeping skills when the backup goalie came. The team that did not show up made a victory by five to four. Now the full credit for winning the game goes to those other than the goalie! As he was in the net when the winning score was scored thus, the win belongs to him.

Goaltender statistics

The performance of a goalie defines how strong the goalie is. These statistics can evaluate a goalie’s performance, Saves (S), Save Percentage (SV PCT), and Shots Against (SA).

Wins and loses in overtime & shootout

During overtime and shootout, a goaltender on the ice will win, but the other goaltender would not get a direct loss.

Any of the goalies who wins the shootout or the overtime credits a win, and it will add to his win column for the season.

Wins and loses in overtime and shootout

On the other hand, if a goalie loses the shootout won’t get a straight loss as they get in regulation and overtime upon losing. Instead, a goalie will get a loss in another category called ‘overtime loss’.

The statistics of a goaltender look like 18-6-4. It indicates that a goalie won 18 games, lost 6 games in regulation, and lost 4 games in overtime.

Who gets credits for a shutout when two goaltenders play?

Who will get a shutout in ice hockey when two goalkeepers play, and neither gives a goal? The answer is none of the goalies would get credit for a shutout. Instead, it will be regarded as a team shutout.

A goaltender needs to play all 60 minutes of a game to have credits for a shutout.

However, the fun fact is that if a goaltender’s team lost the match 1-0 in a shootout during the regular season, the goalie would still be credited for a shutout regardless of the loss.

NHL top goalies of all the time

Below is the list of NHL all-time best goalies according to the NHL official records website.

RankGoaltenderTeam(s)Wins (W)
1Martin BrodeurNJD, STL691
2Patrick RoyMTL, COL551
3Marc-Andre FleuryPIT, VGK, MIN, CHI534
4Roberto LuongoNYI, VAN, FLA489
5Ed BelfourCHI, SJS, DAL, TOR, FLA484
6Henrik LundqvistNYR459
7Curtis JosephSTL, EDM, TOR, DET, PHX, CGY454
8Terry SawchukDET, BOS, TOR, LAK, NYR445
9Jacques PlanteMTL, NYR, STL, TOR, BOS437
10Tony EspositoMTL, CHI423

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NHL emergency goalie rule?

The NHL emergency goalie rule states that teams can assign a third goalkeeper if both goalies already on a roster get injured. The emergency goaltenders are former or recreational college goalies.
A team is allowed to dress and play any eligible goaltender who is eligible. However, it is infrequent to see when both goalies get injured, and there is a need for a third goalie.

What is a goaltender pulling in ice hockey?

Teams pull their goalies as a strategy when they need to score a goal in exchange for an extra attacker when they lose late during the third period. Getting a sixth skater in the game gives a significant opportunity to control the puck in the offensive and score accurate shots.

When is the right time to pull a goalie?

A team usually would only pull their goalie in the last few minutes of the game’s last period to balance the score. But if there is a delayed penalty against the opposing team, a team will pull their goalie for an extra skater, so there is no risk of making a play after touching the puck.


In conclusion, the goalie has a significant role in ice hockey. He is the boss of the crease, his performance predicts the game’s future, he must be vigilant of all the skills needed for a perfect player, and he gets the title of winning goalie or losing goalie when a team gets victory or when he loses a game.

Thus, the position of goalies is challenging in all positions in the ice hockey game. In this blog, we discussed the winning goal and how the goalie gets the win for his team. We discussed possible scenarios explaining all the myths and facts about the goalie winning the goal.

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  3. What happens when a hockey goalie gets a penalty?
  4. What is the hardest position in hockey?
  5. Where can the goalie play the puck?
Austin Taylor

Who is Austin Taylor?

Meet Austin Taylor, your go-to source for everything ice hockey! With a passion for the sport that’s as deep as the ice itself, Austin Taylor brings you concise, expert insights and nitty-gritty details on all things hockey. From gear reviews to strategy breakdowns, Austin Taylor is your trusted guide to navigating the exhilarating world of ice hockey. Get ready to lace up your skates and dive into the game with Austin Taylor as your ultimate companion.

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