RALEIGH, N.C. - Frustrated by Cam Ward most of the night, the Rangers tied the Hurricanes with 2:23 left in regulation on a goal by Kevin Klein and went on to win their fifth straight, 3-2, in a shootout Saturday night.
Ward had 32 saves to Henrik Lundqvist's 18 as the Rangers controlled play for most of the night. But Lundqvist had the last one in the shootout, stopping Chris Terry in the third round. Mats Zuccarello scored the only goal of the shootout, beating Ward high in the second round.
The Rangers have won nine of their last 11 at Carolina. The teams will face off again Sunday night at the Garden.
Klein's seventh goal, off a feed from Chris Kreider, tied the score and allowed the Rangers to exhale.
"Kreids did a great job coming around and finding me," Klein said. "I was just moving to my left and I just tried to shoot it by him. He did a good job trying to take my lane away. I just pulled it and tried to shoot it through his legs. It managed to go in, which is always nice."
The Rangers earlier had a potential tying goal waved off when Derick Brassard, in his first game back from a case of mumps, interfered with Ward, trapping him on the right side of the net. Ward flipped off his mask a second before a long shot from Matt Hunwick went into the net to the goalie's left. No goal was the call. The play had been blown dead and the call stood.
"They said that his [mask] strap was knocked off and his helmet was off," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "That's an automatic rule."
With the Rangers trailing 1-0, J.T. Miller took a pass from Zuccarello at the blue line, skated in alone and beat Ward for a power-play goal to tie the score at 4:01 of the third. It was Miller's fourth goal of the season.
But the jubilation was short-lived. Jeff Skinner sent a backhander through Lundqvist's legs 26 seconds later to give Carolina a 2-1 lead.
"That was a bad mistake by me," Lundqvist said. "I tried to read his shot instead of just trying to play the situation. Instead of trying to go high, he went low and I wasn't there to cover it. I made a mistake there and it could have cost us. It was frustrating because I felt I was playing a very solid game. As a team, we were playing really well."
When does a 6-1 shots-on-goal advantage not lead to a good start for your team? When Ward makes at least three superb saves and your opponent takes an errant pass and turns it into a goal on only its second shot of the game.
The Rangers were all over Ward when he stopped Kevin Hayes on a three-on-two break. The puck slid across the back of the crease but did not cross the line, a video review confirmed.
A subsequent cross-ice pass attempt by Hayes was stolen by Nathan Gerbe to create a two-on-one for Carolina. Gerbe gave the puck to rookie Chris Terry, who beat Lundqvist at 7:20 to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead.
The Rangers had 11 shots in the first period to the Hurricanes' six. Still, they trailed. The Rangers outshot the Hurricanes 13-7 in the second. But neither team scored.
Rick Nash's point streak ended at a career-best 11 games. The Rangers outshot the Hurricanes 34-20.