Ray Whitney also scored for the Hurricanes, who had lost five of seven. David Tanabe added two assists, and Cam Ward made 21 saves in earning a relatively easy win.
Alexander Frolov scored for the Kings, who are in last place in the Western Conference. Los Angeles has lost 13 of 16.
The Hurricanes went ahead for good on Walker’s 17th goal of the season. It was a good way to open a key stretch for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who entered the game in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and play three of the next four at home.
With the score tied at 1, Walker took a pass from Josef Vasicek along the boards and curled toward the middle of the zone. With no Kings defender hanging with him, Walker found a lane and took a long shot from beyond the circles that slipped by goalie Sean Burke at 14:46 of the second.
The Kings looked set for a good start when Carolina’s Justin Williams was given a four-minute penalty for high-sticking Jamie Lundmark just 13 seconds in. But the Kings managed only one shot with the advantage, the beginning of an anemic offensive night.
Los Angeles managed just 10 shots in the first two periods. And when the Kings got a scoring chance – as when Dustin Brown corralled a mishandled puck by Frantisek Kaberle along the boards for a breakaway chance – they couldn’t take advantage.
Still, the Kings tied it when Frolov deflected in a pass from Brent Sopel on a power play midway through the second period after Vasicek was called for roughing.
The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead when Rod Brind’Amour beat defenceman Rob Blake to the puck along the boards, then sent a pass from behind the net to Whitney for a short put-away with 1:10 left in the first.
Notes: Carolina LW Erik Cole missed his second straight game with a lower body injury. … The teams hadn’t met in Raleigh since Carolina’s 3-2 overtime win on Nov. 8, 2003. … Lundmark returned to the game in the first period after Williams’ high-stick that opened a cut over his right eye. … Whitney left the game briefly in the first period and limped to the locker room with a right leg injury after a hit near the net. … The Brind’Amour-to-Whitney goal extended the scoring streak for both players to five games. Brind’Amour has eight points in that span, while Whitney has 10.