The Carolina Hurricanes had a lot of things working against them Thursday.
The Canes, one of four winless teams in the NHL, were facing the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. They were playing shorthanded in a sense -- without Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, Andrej Sekera and other injured players.
The Canes still are winless. But they forced the Rangers into overtime, then a shootout before losing 2-1 as Rick Nash scored the deciding goal.
Chris Terry scored in the second period for the Canes (0-2-2) and Derick Brassard in the third for the Rangers (2-3-0). But that was all either team allowed as both goaltenders -- Carolina's Anton Khudobin (33 saves) and New York's Henrik Lundqvist (29 saves) -- worked hard in net.
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"We battled hard," said Terry, whose goal was his third of the season. "We were up 1-0 and it was a tight-checking game, a very good, intense hockey game."
Carolina lost a shootout to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday at PNC Arena, in a game that didn't set well with the Canes despite picking up their first point of the season. But the Rangers had beaten the Canes 11 of the past 12 games and six in a row at the Garden.
Lundqvist, coming off two miserable outings, stopped Alexander Semin, Terry and Ryan Murphy in the shootout to win it. Nash was up third for the Rangers and got the puck past Khudobin. Lundqvist then stopped Murphy to win the game.
"It was a tough loss, the second game in a row we didn't get the result in a shootout," Khudobin said. "We have a lot of guys injured and it's tough for us. We have to figure out what we need to do without them -- just play."
The game was scoreless for almost 37 minutes before Terry got the puck from Tim Gleason and unloaded a shot from the left circle.
"Just tried to snap it at the net," Terry said.
The puck appeared to be deflected -- the Canes' Jay McClement and Rangers' Kevin Klein were battling in the slot. Just like that, the Canes had a 1-0 lead.
That's not what the Garden crowd expected and boos were heard after the second period ended. The Rangers were coming off 6-3 losses on home ice to the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders, and the Canes came in with the lengthy injury list and lost forward Nathan Gerbe late in the game to a lower-body injury
But the Rangers tied it midway through the third on Brassard's goal. Dan Girardi's shot was redirected by Mats Zuccarello in the slot and tipped by Brassard past Khudobin.
The Rangers had power-play chances and other good scoring looks. But the Canes, in the first of five straight road games, were aggressive, active, using their speed and helping Khudobin.
"The effort was good," Canes coach Bill Peters said. "These guys work, they compete."
Peters said Thursday morning that he'd like to get a strong performance in net. Khudobin gave it to him.
"He was solid," Peters said.
Skinner, hopeful of making his season debut, was given one more game to recover from a concussion, and center Brody Sutter made his NHL debut.
But the Canes had some bite to their game, stepping up and closing gaps, jumping in passing lanes, playing smart hockey.
After the scoreless first, Carolina killed off a pair of penalties in the second -- 69 seconds to start the period and later a slashing penalty. Khudobin then made back-to-back stops on shots by Klein and then Matt Hunwick.
In the third, the Rangers killed off 69 seconds of a Marc Staal penalty. Staal and Gleason soon mixed it up behind the Carolina net, both drawing penalties and awakening a restless Rangers crowd at the Garden.
"We lost a shootout but it was a 1-1 hockey game," Terry said. "We have to take the positives out of how we played for 65 minutes and keep building."