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Brian McNally

Articles by Brian McNally

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard, right, signs autographs for fans during a break in their spring training baseball workout, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

No arbitration a relief for Nats pitcher Tyler Clippard

Clippard, 28, will again help anchor the back end of Washington's bullpen. He has been a mainstay there since the middle of the 2009 season when, in desperation, general manager Mike Rizzo blew up his bullpen multiple times until he found competent relievers. Published February 14, 2014

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jose Lobaton rounds the bases after hitting the game winning home run in the ninth inning in Game 3 of an American League baseball division series against the Boston Red Sox, Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Red Sox's 5-4. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Nats trade for reserve catcher Jose Lobaton

The Nationals opened spring training on Thursday by trading right-handed pitching prospect Nathan Karns to the Tampa Bay Rays for reserve catcher Jose Lobaton. Published February 13, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry, right, poses for a photograph holding the team USA hockey jersey with Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, in the locker room before their game with the Winnipeg Jets, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Washington. Kerry was greeting players that have been selected for their country's Olympic hockey team. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

John Carlson, teammates can finally focus on trying to win Olympic gold

For weeks his focus was on helping the Caps stay afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. But once the final horn sounded in Saturday's 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center, John Carlson could finally look toward Sochi and the Winter Olympics, where he will play for Team USA. Published February 10, 2014

Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin, center, celebrates his goal with defenseman Karl Alzner, left; left wing Martin Erat (10), from the Czech Republic; center Nicklas Backstrom (19), from Sweden; and defenseman John Carlson (74) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Washington. It was Ovechkin's 40th goal of the season. The Capitals won 4-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Ovechkin scores his 40th goal, lifts Capitals to 4-2 win over Winnipeg

The expected happened for the Capitals on Thursday night. Star winger Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal in a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at Verizon Center. It was the 66th time Ovechkin has scored a game winner in his career, tied for eighth among all active NHL players. But it took the unexpected to even give him the chance. Published February 6, 2014

Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russia, celebrates his game-winning goal in the overtime period of an NHL hockey game against the Detroit Red Wings, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in Washington. The Capitals won 6-5. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Alex Ovechkin doesn't miss twice, nails overtime winner for Capitals

Alex Ovechkin has 15 overtime game-winning goals in his career now, tied for third all time. Only New Jersey Devils veterans Jaromir Jagr (18) and Patrik Elias (16) have more. Those men are a decade older than Ovechkin, who is still just 28. Published February 2, 2014

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson speaks during a news conference Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. The Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are scheduled to play in the Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

2014 Super Bowl: Despite an odd path, Russell Wilson is where he expected to be

Russell Wilson was thankful to be a part of a day many players regard as a nuisance. The former baseball player knows his career path could have landed him elsewhere, not playing for a championship in just his second NFL season when the Seahawks face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday. Published January 28, 2014

Ottawa Senators center Zack Smith (15) checks Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green (52) in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Without injured Alex Ovechkin, Caps shut out and lose sixth in a row

Alex Ovechkin could only watch the game in street clothes. For once, the NHL's leading scorer was helpless to stop the Capitals' growing losing skid. Injured during last week's road trip to Pittsburgh, Columbus and New York, Ovechkin sat out Tuesday's 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Verizon Center. Published January 21, 2014

Washington Capitals Philipp Grubauer, from Germany, sits on the ice as the puck bounces nearby in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in Washington. The Hurricanes won 4-1. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Capitals clear their crowded crease by sending Philipp Grubauer to Hershey

After a pair of ugly losses over the weekend, Washington finally rectified the goalie situation by sending rookie Philipp Grubauer back to AHL Hershey. That leaves the crease once more to Braden Holtby, who entered the season as the team's No. 1, and Michal Neuvirth, who has also won a Stanley Cup playoff series. Published January 20, 2014

Pittsburgh Penguins' Olli Maatta (3) celebrates his goal with teammate Jussi Jokinen (36) in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. The Penguins won 4-3. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Getting a lead late isn't the problem for the Capitals

Wednesday's setback in Pittsburgh was a crushing loss for the Caps and continued a trend that began in the opening game of the season against Chicago on Oct. 1. Washington can now point to five games where it led in the third period only to see its opponent storm back for the victory. Published January 16, 2014

San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) scores past Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer (31), from Germany, in the shootout of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Washington. The Sharks won 2-1. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A better effort, but same result for Caps

Their shootout luck has finally disappeared and with it the Capitals’ ability to sneak two standings standings points out of most games. They were generally happy with the overall effort on Tuesday night at Verizon Center against the formidable San Jose Sharks. But the end result was no different than a setback two days prior: A 2-1 shootout loss and just one point. Published January 15, 2014