- Associated Press - Saturday, November 19, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jeff Carter is powering the Kings while they wait for the return of Anze Kopitar.

Carter scored his team-high seventh goal, helping Los Angeles beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Saturday.

Peter Budaj had 21 saves, and Los Angeles also got goals from Tanner Pearson, Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin.

Kopitar has missed four games with an upper-body injury, but the Kings are 2-1-1 in that span thanks largely to Carter. He has goals in consecutive games and five in his past eight, and he leads the team with 14 points.

“He’s carried the team on his back,” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. “He’s shown a lot of leadership and been really, really good for us.”

John Moore and Nick Lappin scored for New Jersey, which has lost two straight since ending a five-game winning streak. Cory Schneider made 24 saves and has allowed six goals on 50 shots over his past two starts.

“We weren’t ready, at certain times in the game, to have the right type of intensity we needed to be able to control the territory like we wanted to,” Devils coach John Hynes said.

With 2:32 left, Lappin scored during a goalmouth scramble to cut the lead to 3-2, but Muzzin got an empty-net goal with 28 seconds left.

“We pressed and got it within one and had a chance to tie it,” Schneider said. “I think we know that wasn’t a full 60-minute effort from us. But you have to give some credit to the Kings. I thought we responded the way we were supposed to, but against that team, it’s hard to get down and come back.”

Just 45 seconds into the third, Carter scored on a 2-on-1 rush by grabbing his own rebound and pushing it under the goalie for a 3-1 edge.

Pearson gave the Kings a 2-1 lead with 1:40 left in the second period. The Devils turned over the puck trying to clear the zone, and Pearson caught it and teed off from the left circle, sending it off Schneider and into the net.

Nic Dowd set up Martinez’s goal 4:58 into the second period. Dowd faked a shot, spun around and found Martinez in the high slot. Martinez beat Schneider with a hard shot through traffic to make it 1-1.

Moore scored in a similar manner 3:38 into the first, launching a long shot past a screened Budaj.

“One thing we’ve got to be good at is coming out stronger in that first period,” Pearson said. “We let another first one in, but we battled back and were able to get the win at home.”

NOTES: The Kings honored former goaltender Rogie Vachon before the game for his recent induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. … Kopitar missed his fourth straight game. … Martinez’s goal was his third goal of the season and 42nd of his career, surpassing Robert Murdoch for ninth on the Kings all-time goals list among defensemen. … The Devils are 0 for 25 on the power play in the last eight games. . Kings D Tom Gilbert was a healthy scratch. … Devils LW Mike Cammalleri and C Jacob Josefson were a healthy scratch. … Devils D Yohann Auvitu missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury.

UP NEXT

Devils: Finish a four-game trip in San Jose on Monday night.

Kings: At Anaheim on Sunday.

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