Kenny Jackett admitted that his goalkeeper was forced into 'two outstanding saves' during Sunderland's draw with Portsmouth.
Both sides were in real need of three points but it was the Black Cats who carved out by far the most opportunities.
MacGillivray came in for praise for Jack Ross after exceptional saves denied Lewis Morgan, Charlie Wyke, Max Power and Will Grigg at various points throughout the game.
Portsmouth have kept their slender automatic promotion hopes alive on the back of the point but Sunderland are all but set for the play-offs.
Jackett conceded that his side had struggled to build any attacking momentum in the second half and underlined again the strength of the sides pushing for the top two.
"I felt we dug in, I felt the keeper made two outstanding saves and was the busier keeper," he said.
"In the second half going forward, we couldn’t find the passes to get ourselves up there, even when Oli (Hawkins) came on we didn’t get up the pitch as easily as we normally do with him playing.
"We didn't get in and around their box to create the chances and opportunities.
"Obviously Sunderland are a big club and a very good club. The atmosphere here today, they are waiting for us, we know that’s the case.
"In normal circumstance that’s a very good point. We obviously want to win, as Sunderland did today, and chasing the top two.
"With the last eight games, we’ve won seven and drawn one which is Sunderland away and we really can’t complain about that run, it’s fantastic," he added.
"The form our side have shown all season, the points total they have got to, if we hadn’t got that type of pace on it would be all over now
"Even Charlton behind us have won a high amount of games and not broken into the top four."
Pompey face Peterborough United on Tuesday night before finishing the season against Accrington Stanley.