Fire can't overcome pair of Sounders goals

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Fire can't overcome pair of Sounders goals

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Michael Gspurning extended his shutout streak to 337 minutes before allowing a late goal, and David Estrada and Eddie Johnson scored in the Seattle Sounders' 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire on Saturday night.Seattle improved to 4-1-1 with its sixth straight victory on the road going back to last season. The road winning streak is one off the MLS record held by Los Angeles and D.C. United. Chicago dropped to 2-2-2.Estrada opened the scoring in the 39th minute. His low kick caromed off Fire defender Arne Friedrich and past goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Johnson made it 2-0 67th minute. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado half-fanned from 8 yards out, and Johnson ran up and finished it off.Chicago's Marco Pappa scored in the 89th minute, curling a corner kick in off the left post to end Gspurning's shutout streak.Pappa appeared to have tied it at 1 in the 63rd minute, but two Chicago players were ruled offside, including Dominic Oduro, who collided with Gspurning as Pappa's shot flew by.Gspurning's last big save came on Jalil Alibaba's point-blank stop in the sixth minute of extra time. A shoving match after the final whistle was broken up with no punches thrown.
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Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Grab the first goal.

The Blackhawks have scored the game's first goal in seven of the last eight games, and of those seven, they've won six of them. Meanwhile, the Lightning have scored the first goal only 17 times in 48 games this season, and are 12-5-1 in those games. They're 9-17-4 when they allow the first goal, so getting out to a lead first will be important against a struggling Lightning team looking for signs of life.

2. Will the floodgates open for Jonathan Toews?

After a four-point game in a 4-2 win over Vancouver, the Blackhawks captain matched his point total over his previous nine games. He's up to 26 points on the season, which is now fifth among Chicago forwards. When Toews has offensive droughts, they usually last longer than they should. But when he gets hot, he gets extremely hot. Perhaps we'll see the floodgates open offensively.

3. A chance for the team lead in scoring.

With an empty-net goal on Sunday, Marian Hossa tied Artem Anisimov for the team-lead with 18 goals. Artemi Panarin is right behind with 17, and Patrick Kane isn't far either at 15. The Blackhawks had four 20-goal scorers last season, and haven't had more than that since the 2013-14 season. They're definitely on pace to hit four, but could they surprass that? Richard Panik, who scored another goal Sunday as well, is fifth with 11 goals while Ryan Hartman has 10. Toews is at eight, but a flurry after a drought could make things interesting.

4. The triplets reunited?

In an effort to jumpstart a struggling offense, Lightning coach Jon Cooper reunited the triplets line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat that was so successful during their 2015 playoff run in their latest game, a 5-3 loss to Arizona. It's unclear whether they will begin tonight's game on the same line, but if not, it's worth watching throughout the game whether they do. The Blackhawks have been coming at opponents in waves lately, so Cooper could look to separate the three to distribute the scoring.

5. Take advantage on special teams.

The Lightning have racked up the fifth-most penalty minutes in the league, and own a bottom-10 penalty kill unit at 80.1 percent. The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team, and have converted on 17.9 percent of their power plays, which sits at 16th. But they haven't scored one on the man advantage in five straight games, going 0-for-9 during that span. Here's a chance to change that.

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