Carter scored the tiebreaker after an exceptional play by Dwight King, who lifted Jason Garrison's stick and outraced the Vancouver defenseman to a puck before putting a pass on Carter's tape for his 14th goal.
"(King) made a heck of a play there," Carter said after his second multigoal game of the season. "I thought we did a lot of good things in the first two periods, but Luongo played really good. We stuck with it and kept working."
Carter gave no chance to Luongo, but the veteran has been solid all season for the Canucks, boosting the gold medal winner's chances of being Canada's starting goalie in Sochi next month.
"Carter released it quick, and it went through our D-men," Luongo said. "You've got to give him credit. It was a good shot, but I would have liked to have gotten a piece of that."
Quick could be Luongo's starting counterpart for the U.S. team, although he'll have to prove he's back in top form over the next five weeks.
Quick looked sharp in the opening minutes, but Kesler scored his 16th goal while falling to the ice, beating his fellow U.S. Olympian's glove off a cross-ice pass from Daniel Sedin.
The goal eased Vancouver's 1-for-19 slump on the power play over the last seven games.
"In our division, we're going to have to learn to battle harder, and it starts with our forwards, as far as the forecheck," Tortorella said. "Our D was under siege all night long, and if we're going to compete in our division, we need to be more consistent."
NOTES: The Kings didn't immediately have to make a corresponding roster move when Quick was activated because they traded F Daniel Carcillo to the New York Rangers earlier in the day. Carcillo went scoreless in his final 23 games with Los Angeles. ... The 55-year-old Sutter is the 22nd NHL head coach to reach 1,000 games. ... The Kings scratched D Matt Greene.