PNE Player Harry Wilson twice hit the woodwork as Derby County hung on for a hard-fought goalless draw against the Lilywhites at Deepdale.
Jayden Stockley sent his header wide for Preston before Wilson crashed his first effort off the crossbar.
Stockley was again off target again shortly after and the hosts seemed fortunate to keep a full compliment on the field, as Ben Pearson escaped with just a yellow card after a reckless challenge on Tom Lawrence.
The post was next to deny Wilson before the break, his effort cannoned back across goal before Preston could clear.
Preston dominated after the break, but their best chance to claim all three points saw Paul Gallagher denied by Kelle Roos before Brad Potts and Darnell Fisher had successive efforts on the rebound blocked.
The point leaves Derby sixth in the table and at risk of dropping out of the play-off places, with Bristol City capable of leapfrogging Frank Lampard’s Rams with a win against Swansea on Saturday.
Preston, who remain 16th in the table, extended their unbeaten run to four matches, although they have failed to win at home in five games.
After successive wins at QPR and Stoke, Preston returned to Deepdale with new verve and were quick to threaten as Stockley directed an effort just wide.
It was the hosts’ most meaningful attempt in a first half tinged by controversy as Pearson avoided a straight red card for his tackle on Lawrence.
For Derby, Wilson’s two shots against the woodwork were as good as it got as the Rams failed to record a shot on target.
Fisher was foiled by Roos and Potts went close before they both saw efforts clattered away after Gallagher was denied in the 63rd minute.
Both sides pressed for a winner, but neither could be separated on a freezing night in Lancashire.
Preston North End boss Alex Neil said: “Things are positive right now and going in the right direction.
“With what we have got now in terms of the squad I would fully expect us to finish the season strongly.
“I have said to the players that I’m certainly not writing off the play-offs.”
Derby County manager Frank Lampard: “It was a hard-earned point. We had the better chances in the first half, Harry Wilson especially.
“The second half was tough and we were up against it in the first 25 minutes. We brought on fresh legs, but it was a difficult game and we have to be happy with the point.
“Preston have a good team, they have a good mix and play good football. They are difficult opposition. This is a tough place to come.
“We defended well and put our bodies on the line, which we need if we are to be successful.”