COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As expected, Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter was booed every time he touched the puck in Nationwide Arena. As usual, Carter and the Kings had the last laugh.
Carter, who played his way out of Columbus at last season's trade deadline, put the Kings ahead with his fourth goal of the season early in the second period, and they went on to a 4-2 win over Columbus before an announced crowd of 11,019.
Anze Kopitar, Slava Voynov and Mike Richards also scored for the Kings, while Jonathan Quick needed only to make 18 saves.
For the Kings, off to a sluggish 2-3-2 start and coming off a 7-4 loss to Anaheim on Saturday, it was a workmanlike effort.
"This was a huge game for us," Carter said. "Both teams were pretty much in the same position heading into tonight. It was a big win. We had to battle for everything tonight.
"That's the one thing that these guys do real well -- they leave everything on the ice. They're a tough team to play, Columbus. They forecheck hard. They pressure the puck everywhere. We came out on the winning end here but we definitely had to work for it."
Richards had a Gordie Howe hat trick -- assisting on Carter's goal early in the second, fighting Columbus' Brandon Dubinsky later in the period, and scoring the final goal of the game at 13:44 of the third.
Derick Brassard and Derek MacKenzie scored for the Blue Jackets, who ran out of steam in the final two periods.
The Kings held the Blue Jackets without a shot on goal for 18 minutes and 28 seconds between the second and third periods, including only one shot on goal during a four-minute power play early in the third.
At that point, the Jackets trailed 3-2.
"That four minutes was really just us draining the clock," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "We spent more time working back to our zone than we did in the offensive zone.
"Our execution wasn't good. Credit to them and what they did, but we had to be better in that area. It was an opportunity that we let slip away."
The Kings pulled away in the second. Anze Kopitar scored only 32 seconds into the period, and Carter cashed in only four minutes later.
Mason stopped an initial shot by Los Angeles' Dustin Brown, but Carter flipped the puck into the slot, looking for a fortuitous bounce. He got it, too, with the puck kicking off Tyutin's skate and sliding between Mason's pads.
That Carter won the Stanley Cup last season after being traded away from the 30th-place Blue Jackets made it doubly difficult for many to swallow.
The Jackets responded a minute later to tie it at 2-2 on Brassard's goal, but Voynov gave the Kings' the lead for good with his second goal of the season at 10:26 of the second.
The game took a violent turn just a minute after Voynov's goal.
Columbus' Brandon Dubinsky shoved Kings' defenseman Rob Scuderi face-first into the end boards, drawing a boarding major and a game misconduct. He also earned a fighting major when he was jumped by the Kings' Mike Richards, who picked up 19 minutes in penalties, including a 10-minute misconduct.
Scuderi stayed on the ice briefly before leaving the game. He returned before the second period ended.
"We came out and played really good in the second to take the lead back," Quick said. "In the third we played a good, smart twenty minutes on the road."
NOTES: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty left the game briefly late in the first period after a slapshot by Columbus' Jack Johnson struck him in the foot. ... A wave of injuries to the Blue Jackets' defense continued, with James Wisniewski suffering a concussion Saturday vs. Detroit and John Moore leaving practice Monday with a lower body injury. As a result, the Jackets had four defensemen in the lineup with fewer than a half-season of NHL experience. ... The Blue Jackets scored first for only the third time this season.