NEW YORK - After falling in a 3-0 hole in the first period, the Carolina Hurricanes battled back to get within a goal in the second but couldn't quite catch the New York Rangers in a 3-2 loss.
Ryan Dzingel and Warren Foegele got the Canes on the board, but Adam Fox's goal late in the first held up as the game-winner.
Here are five takeaways from Thanksgiving eve in the Big Apple.
1. 60 Minutes
It's a 60-minute game, but the Hurricanes didn't have their best for the full 60 minutes - especially not in the first period.
"You can't start like that in the NHL," Dzingel said.
The Rangers hung a troika of goals on the Canes in the first 20 minutes, and that was pretty much that, despite the Canes' best efforts to climb their way out of the hole.
"We just didn't show up on time. We've been preaching all year that we've got to play 60 minutes," Warren Foegele said. "It's hard to play catch-up hockey down three. If we just come out ready to play, we're not in that position."
"That's the game. It's a 60-minute game. You have to play for 60 minutes. We weren't ready at the start," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We were a little sluggish. Bing, bing, bing, and now you have to dig yourself out of a hole. We weren't able to do that."
The loss drops the Canes to just 2-6-1 within the Metropolitan Division this season.
2. A No Good, Very Bad Period
After 16 straight losses (0-13-3) dating back to Oct. 2010, the Hurricanes finally won a game at Madison Square Garden in early February of last season with a 3-0 shutout. The maddening, non-sensical streak was finally over, the hex exorcised.
At least, that's what it seemed.
Video: CAR Recap: Dzingel, Foegele score in 3-2 loss
Remnants of that bad juju seemed to haunt the Canes early in what was a nightmare start. Joel Edmundson was whistled for a penalty just 48 seconds into the game, and though the Canes technically killed that off, Jordan Martinook headed to the box late in that kill. Only six seconds after Edmundson exited the box, Mika Zibanejad scored on a one-timer.
Just 78 seconds later, Brendan Smith doubled his team's lead with a one-timer from the point that eluded Petr Mrazek.
With 1:40 left in the period, former Canes prospect Adam Fox, who recorded the primary assist on Zibanejad's goal, redirected Artemi Panarin's shot for his fourth goal of the season.
"It's a lesson in preparation," Brind'Amour said.
A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad period, and the Canes were down a three-spot heading into the intermission.
"It's tough to climb out of a 3-0 hole," Dzingel said. "You can't do that in the NHL. You're going to be behind the eight ball, and you're not going to be able to get it done."
"We shoot ourselves in the foot when we don't start on time," Foegele said. "If we come out and play hard in the first, it could be a different result."
3. Dzingel Breaks Through
For as tough as the first period was, the second was markedly better, and the Hurricanes finally found a way past Henrik Lundqvist in quick succession late in the period.
"Our mindset after that first period was just try to win [the next] period and go from there," Foegele said.
The Canes had one of their best shifts around the midway point of the game, a grinding, cycling clinic that generated a couple of good scoring opportunities and also forced the Rangers to take a penalty. Though that power play would get cut short, the ice tilted a bit. The Rangers got sloppy and were caught with too many men on the ice.
It was one of those power plays you felt the Canes needed if they were going to work their way back into the game.
And, sure enough - Ryan Dzingel put his stick on the ice and gave Dougie Hamilton a target. Hamilton slid the puck right on Dzingel's tape for the deflection past Lundqvist for the power-play goal.
Video: CAR@NYR: Dzingel deflects shot past Lundqvist for PPG
"That was a huge power-play goal," Foegele said. "We were just trying to build in the second period to give ourselves a chance."
"We needed something good to happen," Brind'Amour said.
4. Foegele Gets Another
Just 89 seconds later, Warren Foegele's constant, dogged pursuit of the puck paid off, as he drove his own rebound past the right leg of Lundqvist to bring the Canes within a goal.
Video: CAR@NYR: Foegele jams loose puck home from the crease
Foegele finished the night with a game-high nine shots on goal (and another shot attempt that missed the net.
"He works hard," Brind'Amour said. "That's where it starts and ends. If you don't have that at the beginning, the rest is going to kind of be fluff. You know what you're getting with him."
5. Coming Up Short
The Hurricanes were inches from tying the game. Martin Necas had a look at a wide-open cage, but Lundqvist batted the puck away with his paddle, his best save of the game.
"We had a couple chances," Brind'Amour said. "We dug in after that, but it was too late."
The Canes' chances continued in the third period. Foegele had an open look in the slot that Lundqvist turned away with the blocker. Andrei Svechnikov was wide open at the right circle, and his deadly wrist shot pinged off the post and into the protective netting.
Oh, so close.
"[Lundqvist made some huge saves tonight on a bunch of us, including me," Foegele said. "Just by getting traffic at the net, you keep trying to get those second and third chances. The rebounds are there."
In total, Lundqvist turned away 41 shots, nearly three weeks after he stopped 45 of 47 in another victorious effort in Raleigh.
"He's elite, one of the best who has ever played goalie," Dzingel said. "He's just good at what he does. You have to get traffic in front or else he's going to make that save."
The Hurricanes host the Nashville Predators on Black Friday, the front half of a post-Thanksgiving back-to-back set that then takes the team to Tampa Bay on Saturday.