Carlton overcame a slow start to surge past the Saints for a comfortable 121-81 win in front of 12,125 fans at Westpac Stadium.
The Saints led by as many as 26 points in the first half but five consecutive goals to the Blues in the second half saw them secure their first win of the season.
The Saints had the better of the first quarter, although Carlton missed two early goal chances due to wayward kicking.
St Kilda made the most of those missed chances to score the first two goals of the game.
Carlton hit back with a goal of their own after a foul inside 50 but St Kilda dominated the remainder of the opening term.
Two goals to Josh Bruce and Cameron Shenton gave them a 25-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
Carlton coach Mick Malthouse, coaching his record-equalling 714th game, must have given his side a rev up at the break as they came out firing in the second quarter with two goals in as many minutes.
St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary gifted Liam Jones a goal after 60 seconds with terrible kick inside his own 50 and a minute later Henderson pounced on a loose ball for an easy goal.
Carlton scored again through Henderson to close the gap to seven points, before St Kilda finally settled into the second term and scored three unanswered goals.
In what was a see-sawing first half, Carlton surged back again with two unanswered goals of their own.
A breezy Wellington wind meant Carlton tried to run and handball often, but St Kilda’s swarming pressure – which saw them with a 47-33 tackle lead at the half – prevented this tactic from working.
Carlton had more possession, but St Kilda did more with their limited ball.
Jones missed a chance from point-blank range to further reduce Carlton’s deficit in the shadows of halftime and St Kilda went into the sheds leading 53-40.
The sides traded a pair of goals each to start the second half before Carlton took over.
Two quick goals from Tom Bell, one from outside 60m, brought Carlton back to within two points as the Blues began to take control.
St Kilda started to disintegrate, as a dangerous cross-goal kick from Jack Lonie was intercepted by Andrejs Everitt for an easy goal.
Carlton’s small pocket of travelling fans roared again as Patrick Cripps hit the Blues fourth successive goal to move ahead 79-67 late in the third quarter.
Another goal at the start of the fourth quarter extended Carlton’s lead to 20.
St Kilda finally broke Carlton’s goal run with a snapshot from Lonie to give them a sniff but Bell’s fourth goal gave the Blues a match-winning lead midway through the final term.
The Saints rarely looked like threatening from there and Carlton clinically closed out the game with three more goals.
Carlton’s domination of the midfield was what eventually won them this game, as they wore down the younger, smaller Saints team.
AT A GLANCE
Score: Carlton 121 (18 goals, 13 behinds) beat St Kilda 81 (12 goals, 9 behinds)
Man of the match: Marc Murphy (Carlton)