Kings defeat Stanley Cup champions, Ducks defeat ... somebody

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Optimism -- of the cautious variety -- could be heard in the Ducks’ dressing room after practice at Anaheim Ice on Friday, the day after a 4-0 shutout of Nashville.

‘We’re still not a winning team,’ said winger Bobby Ryan, who has four goals in the last five games. ‘That pressure is not going away until we right the ship.’

Teemu Selanne, the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer whose eight goals rank second on the team to Corey Perry’s 10, said the Ducks’ 2-1-1 record in the last four games is a start after falling into last place in the Pacific Division.

‘This game is all about confidence,’ Selanne said. ‘We’ve gotten confidence the last four games. We played pretty good. We all know we can play better, though.’


The top two scoring lines -- Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Perry, and Joffrey Lupul, Saku Koivu and Selanne -- are both finally clicking. But Coach Randy Carlyle attributed that in part to improvement by a defense that has had to find itself after losing Chris Pronger and Francois Beauchemin.

‘I think the reason we’re creating more offense is we’ve been better defensively,’ Carlyle said. ‘We’re not spending as much time in our own zone. It’s difficult to score from 180 feet away.’

Etc: Randy Carlyle on defenseman James Wisniewski returning against Phoenix after a two-game suspension for a hit against Phoenix captain Shane Doan: ‘He needs to play his game, just be himself. He can’t be sidetracked. Our focus is winning the hockey game. Anything short of that is unacceptable.’ ... Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, sidelined since aggravating a groin injury Oct. 24, is on track to return as the backup to Jonas Hiller on a four-game trip that begins Wednesday at New Jersey.

-- Robyn Norwood