LOS ANGELES -- Winger Jeff Carter scored two goals and goaltender Jonathan Quick made 27 saves as the Los Angeles Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 on Saturday.
The Kings (26-13-4) broke a season-long five game losing streak as they opened a five game home stand and gained ground on the San Jose Sharks, who lost earlier in the day in Colorado.
Goaltender Roberto Luongo stopped 45 shots and center Ryan Kesler scored the lone goal for Vancouver (23-13-7), which dropped its third straight game.
With the game tied with less than seven minutes to play, the Kings took their first lead of the night when Carter beat Luongo with a snap shot at 12:05. The play was made by winger Dwight King, who beat Vancouver defenseman Jason Garrison to the puck and fed Carter in stride. Los Angeles center Anze Kopitar drew the secondary assist on Carter 13th goal of the season.
Vancouver had four strong chances to tie in the game's last minute with Luongo pulled for an extra skater, but Quick was strong to turn them away. Carter added the empty-net goal with 10 seconds left to seal the win.
It was a matchup of returning injured goaltenders to start the game. Luongo returned after a three game absence while Quick was named a surprise starter after missing 24 games with a Grade 2 groin strain.
Vancouver opened the scoring when Kesler found the back of the net with Carter in the penalty box for holding at 12:27 of the opening period. Kesler converted a wrist shot off a cross-ice pass from winger Daniel Sedin for his 16th goal of the season with a secondary assist credited to center Henrik Sedin.
Luongo maintained the upper hand through the first 40 minutes, keeping the Kings off the board with 35 saves in preserving the one goal lead. .
Los Angeles broke through 1:07 into the final period when winger Dustin Brown cashed in a rebound of a shot by winger Justin Williams.
NOTES: Vancouver did not dress D Andrew Alberts. ... The Canucks have the best penalty-killing record in the NHL. They have a success rate of 89.2 percent, a significant improvement over last season's 84 percent. ... Canucks C Henrik Sedin extended his club-record consecutive games streak to 672. His streak started against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 21, 2004. ... Kings coach Darryl Sutter coached in his 1000th NHL game. Sutter is the 24th coach in NHL history to reach the mark. ... Los Angeles scratched D Matt Greene, C Colin Fraser and G Martin Jones. ... The Kings traded LW Daniel Carcillo to the New York Rangers for a 2014 seventh round draft pick. Carcillo appeared in 26 games for Los Angeles and registered one goal and one assist. ... Kings C Jarret Stoll assisted on the first Kings goal since C Anze Kopitar scored in the third period of a 3-2 loss in Dallas on Dec. 31, a span of 119:22.