Hockey is a game of inches, and on Friday night in Raleigh, it was a game of seconds. Make that milliseconds.
Bryan Bickell got a piece of Jeff Skinner's shot with .7 seconds remaining in the second period that put Carolina up 3-2 over the Rangers. It held up for the winner to snap the Rangers' three-game winning streak.
Mats Zuccarello scored a pair of goals and Ryan McDonagh extended his career-best assist streak to six games.
The Rangers opened the scoring on Zuccarello's first of the night. With the Rangers on the power play, Mika Zibanejad fired a shot on net from below the goal line that got behind Cam Ward, but was stopped on the goal line. A goal mouth scramble followed and the puck eventually found its way to Zuccarello, who fired it through traffic to put the Rangers up 1-0.
Skinner would tie the game with his first of the night when he carried the puck from the corner and fired a wrist shot from just below the faceoff dot over Henrik Lundqvist's right shoulder with 7:26 to play in the first period.
Skinner's second of the night came just 34 seconds into the period when he broke in alone between Marc Staal and Kevin Klein and beat Lundqvist with a backhander to put Carolina up 2-1.
Video: NYR@CAR: Zuccarello pots second on a breakaway chance
Zuccarello would answer with a breakaway goal of his own at 12:17 when Ryan McDonagh hit him with a home run pass at Carolina's blueline, and the crafty winger beat Ward five-hole for his fourth goal of the season that tied it 2-2.
But Bickell's goal on the power play with under one second remaining in the second period proved to be the difference.
Lundqvist finished the night with 18 saves in the loss.
The Rangers were without forward Chris Kreider, who missed his third consecutive game with neck spasms.
New York returns home Sunday night to host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden.