"It's something that I've dreamed about for a long time," said Carter, who makes his offseason home in Marina del Rey, Calif.
It is the second straight year Carter was sent packing just before the NHL deadline. He was dealt to New York by Edmonton in March 2003.
"We were looking to add an offensive player because of the injuries that we've had," Kings general manager Dave Taylor said. "When it came down to it, for the price and the players available, we felt that Anson made a lot of sense."
With New York, Carter struggled like the rest of the Rangers. He had one goal in 11 games with New York last year and has 15 goals in 62 games overall this season.
"I don't think Anson has played as well as he'd like, but he has had success in the Western Conference," Taylor said. "We think that we can get Anson going, and we think he can give us a lift."
"We're not going to make the qualifying offer, and we're not going to extend contracts until we know what's going on," Capitals general manager George McPhee said. "So rather than have him walk away in four weeks, we get a 21-year-old player that we like."
To retain Carter's rights for next season, the Kings would have to match his $2.8 million salary.
The NHL trading deadline is Tuesday, and Taylor wasn't sure whether he was done dealing.
"I wouldn't say we have anything hot or anything pending at this point, but we'll keep working the phones," he said.
Aulin, the 47th pick in the 2000 draft, has not played with the Kings this season because of a dislocated shoulder in training camp that required surgery.
"To think about it, we probably wouldn't have gotten him if he was healthy," McPhee said. "He'd probably be playing in L.A."
McPhee hopes Aulin, who had two goals and two assists in 17 games for Los Angeles last season, can play in Portland -- Washington's AHL affiliate -- in a few weeks.