Derby missed the chance to climb to fifth in the Sky Bet Championship table, drawing 0-0 at Preston.
The Rams could count themselves somewhat unlucky after Harry Wilson hit the woodwork twice in a first half which they just shaded.
However, the promotion-chasers were left clinging on for a point at the end after North End dominated the second half at Deepdale.
Darnell Fisher and Paul Gallagher came closest to breaking the deadlock during a purple patch, with both being denied by fine saves from Derby goalkeeper Kelle Roos.
Jayden Stockley headed narrowly wide after he got on the end of Alan Browne's second-minute shot as the home side started strongly.
Wilson smacked a long-range effort against the crossbar on 11 minutes after a good run, while Stockley failed to keep his shot down from Gallagher's corner three minutes later.
Jordan Storey was also unable to hit the target with a header from another Gallagher corner on 20 minutes.
The game could have changed dimension on the half-hour, with Ben Pearson lucky to escape with just a booking following a reckless touchline tackle on Wilson.
David Nugent then went close with a long-range effort, before Tom Lawrence hit the side-netting as Derby began to take control towards the end of the first half, Wilson again hitting the woodwork from 18 yards when his effort struck the inside of the post on 40 minutes.
Lawrence was unable to keep his shot down from just outside the box two minutes before the break.
The first half had plenty of entertainment but it took until the 49th minute for the hosts to register a first shot on target, Stockley's header comfortably dealt with by Roos.
Fisher forced Roos into another save two minutes later as Preston enjoyed a good spell, while Brad Potts fired a powerful shot wide from the edge of the box after he cut inside and created an opening on 54 minutes.
Sean Maguire shot wide four minutes later after the dominant hosts won back-to-back corners, Gallagher had a shot superbly saved by Roos before Potts and Fisher both had strikes blocked in the aftermath on 61 minutes as Derby looked to hold on heading into the closing stages.
Potts had another shot blocked three minutes later after getting on the end of a Gallagher cross, with the latter then curling an effort just over the bar as the one-way traffic continued.
Gallagher failed to hit the target with a free-kick four minutes later, before Maguire was denied by Roos as time ran out for the hosts, leaving both sides to settle for a point.