Artemi Pleshkov world record for saves by a goalie

You’ve heard of iron men in sports, but what about an iron goalie?

In an incredible display of endurance and skill, 21-year-old Russian goaltender Artemi Pleshkov etched his name into the record books by making an astonishing 124 saves in a single game.

This superhuman feat occurred during a VHL (Russia’s second-tier professional hockey league) quarterfinal matchup between Pleshkov’s team, SKA-Neva St. Petersburg, and their opponents, AKM.

Despite Pleshkov’s valiant efforts, which included stopping every shot he faced through regulation and four overtime periods, SKA-Neva ultimately fell to AKM 1-0 in the fifth overtime. The game, which lasted an astounding 157 minutes and 14 seconds, is now the longest in professional hockey history.

Pleshkov’s 124 saves shattered the previous professional hockey record, surpassing the 107 saves made by Belarusian goaltender Alexander Borodulya in an Extraliga game and the 85 saves made by Joonas Korpisalo of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Throughout the marathon game, Pleshkov showcased his incredible focus and stamina, making save after save to keep his team in contention. He stopped 14 shots in the first period, 15 in the second, 10 in the third, and an additional 85 saves over the five overtime periods.

To put Pleshkov’s achievement into perspective, consider some of the NHL records for most saves in a game. The current NHL record is held by Ron Tugnutt, who made 70 saves for the Quebec Nordiques in a regular-season game against the Boston Bruins in 1991.

Most Saves in an NHL Game (Regular Season)

Ron TugnuttQuebec Nordiques3/21/199170Boston3-3 (OT)
Mario LessardLos Angeles Kings3/24/198165Minnesota4-3
Joe DaleyBuffalo Sabres12/10/197064Boston2-8
Juuse SarosNashville Predators1/5/202364Carolina5-3
Gump WorsleyMinnesota North Stars2/7/197163Boston4-4
Allan BesterToronto Maple Leafs3/15/198460Hartford3-5
Al RollinsChicago Blackhawks12/13/195659Boston2-3
Wayne RutledgeLos Angeles Kings2/14/197059St. Louis1-2
Mike RichterNew York Rangers1/31/199159Vancouver3-3 (OT)
Ben ScrivensEdmonton Oilers1/29/201459San Jose3-0

In the playoffs, the record belongs to Joonas Korpisalo, who made 85 saves for the Blue Jackets against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020.

Most Saves in an NHL Game (Playoffs)

Joonas KorpisaloColumbus Blue Jackets8/11/202085Tampa Bay2-3 (5OT)
Igor ShesterkinNew York Rangers5/3/202279Pittsburgh3-4 (3OT)
Kelly HrudeyNew York Islanders4/18/198773Washington3-2 (4OT)
Ed BelfourToronto Maple Leafs4/16/200372Philadelphia2-3 (3OT)
Roberto LuongoVancouver Canucks4/11/200772Dallas5-4 (4OT)

Pleshkov’s performance also brings to mind some of the longest games in NHL history. The longest ever was a 1936 playoff game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Maroons, which lasted 176 minutes and 30 seconds. More recently, the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins played a five-overtime thriller in 2000 that spanned 152 minutes and 1 second.

Pleshkov’s record-smashing game made headlines in Russia, but it flew under the radar internationally. While Pleshkov’s heroics came in a losing effort, his record-breaking performance is a testament to his skill, dedication, and mental toughness.

As the hockey world marvels at this incredible feat, Pleshkov’s 124-save game will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest goaltending performances in the history of the sport.