With extra zip in his step if not revenge in his heart for the acrimonious end to his tenure with the Flyers, Carter scored the Kings' first goal in his first game back at the Wells Fargo Center. Another former Flyer longer removed, Justin Williams, scored the second goal of the Kings' eventual 3-2 victory.
"There's an added incentive any time you play your former team, especially the way things ended here," Williams said of Carter, who didn't speak to the media after the game.
"I know he wanted this game bad. He played well. He used his wheels well. He did what he was capable of."
So did the Kings, who have won three straight games. They prevailed on a goal by winger Dwight King, who has no link to the Flyers other than now being reviled for ending their five-game winning streak.
A turnover by the Flyers allowed defenseman Slava Voynov to dash up the right side, with King to his left and only one defender back. Voynov passed to King, whose shot from the left circle eluded goaltender Ray Emery at 10 minutes 36 seconds of the third period.
That restored the Kings' command of a game they had dominated and led, 2-0, but had to fight back to reclaim.
"We had the better of them for the first 40 minutes. Five, six minutes into the third period, for them to tie it up, not too happy about it," Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick said. "Especially because I thought we were outplaying them."
The Kings had to kill off a 30-second five-on-three Flyers power play in the second period and felt wronged when they lost an apparent goal at 13:38 to a cross-checking penalty on Carter. That made the outcome that much sweeter.
"Sometimes, you feel it was justice," Williams said.
Carter, who was traded from the Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets and then to the Kings, scored on a one-timer at 1:49 of the second period. The Kings then got a fortunate carom when a shot from deep on the right side by Vincent Lecavalier hit the right post, the crossbar and the left post but stayed out, a ruling that was reviewed and upheld.
"I don't know if I can remember one like that," Quick said. "Big stroke of luck there for that to happen."
After the Kings killed off a series of penalties, Williams gave them a 2-0 lead at 17:29 of the second period when Emery fumbled the rebound of a shot by Robyn Regehr. "It's a bad goal," Emery said. "I've got to control that rebound."
But the Flyers cut their deficit in half 29 seconds into the third period on a shot by Matt Read that deflected off Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin, and they pulled even at 8:18 on Jakub Voracek's redirection of a shot by Scott Hartnell.
"They're a team that scores a lot of goals in the third," said Mike Richards, another former Flyer who has played here before and was less a target than Carter was.
"They got that one early and seemed to have all the momentum, but we've been a team that's played together for a lot of years and have been through a lot. So we're a mentally strong team. We battled back after that, in a tough building."
Carter was a big part of that. "He played well. He was skating," Richards said. "He does what he does — he was shooting, skating and playing well. That's his game."
Finally, it was left to King to end a personal 10-game goal drought and successfully launch a brief but challenging trip.
"We've done some good things on the road. It's good to see," Richards said. "In playoffs, or leading up, we have to continue to build our game. I thought we'd been doing that. We had a little bit of a lull at home but the difference in the margin from winning and losing is one mistake right now. So it's good to see us get that bounce tonight and get that win."
When: 4 PDT.
On the air: TV: FS West, Radio: 1150.
Etc.: The Kings and Capitals met Thursday at Staples Center, where the Kings pulled out a 2-1 shootout victory. The Capitals are 4-0-1 in their last five games and their penalty-killing unit is 17 for 17 in that span. The Kings' last visit to the Verizon Center was on Feb. 12, 2011, a 4-1 victory.