Carter scored two superb tries in a personal haul of 27 points as the Kiwis denied a brave Wales to give Carisbrook the perfect send off for the famous ground's last game of international rugby.
But with Wales looking to turn an impressive first 50-minute display into a similarly productive 80-minute effort next time out, Carter may be forced to watch from the sidelines.
Carter pulled up with a tight calf in the closing stages of the first Test and is now a serious doubt for the second.
All Black boss Graham Henry is due to announce his matchday 22 on Tuesday but Carter's availability will not be confirmed until two days later.
"He'll have to have a couple of days of modified training,'' said New Zealand assistant coach Wayne Smith. "We probably won't be able to make a decision until Thursday on him given the nature of the tightening of the calf.
"It's not actually a calf pull or anything like that, it's just a tightening. But we've got to make sure it's right. We'll play him if he's right. If he's not right we won't play him.''
Full back Israel Dagg is also a major concern for the All Blacks, with the newcomer suffering concussion in Dunedin.
Second row Anthony Boric has a fractured cheekbone and star centre Conrad Smith is currently struggling with blurred vision after being accidentally poked in the eye in the first Test.
But despite New Zealand's injury worries and Henry's stated intention of giving his wider squad players some game time this month, Smith insisted that the priority next weekend is to secure series victory over a Wales side with the potential to cause an upset.
"The first thing is that we've got to win this Test match - I think that's key,'' added Smith. "It's all very well talking about things and working on things but at the end of the day we've got to stick it on the track again so we've got to pick the right players to do that.''