Fire's Anibaba, Klopas suspended

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Fire's Anibaba, Klopas suspended

Neither Fire coach Frank Klopas nor defender Jalil Anibaba expected any disciplinary action from Major League Soccer immediately after Saturday nights 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders at Toyota Park.

Both were wrong, though. Anibaba was handed a red card by referee Michael Kennedy and Klopas was dismissed for defensive and abusive language towards the officials in Kennedys game report filed with the league. Neither knew about Kennedys report after the match, and the club and league announced the penalties on Monday.

The red card means Anibaba cant play in Friday nights match against Chivas USA in Los Angeles, and Klopas wont be on the sidelines. Its expected that Fire assistants Mike Matkovich and Leo Percovich will fill in for Klopas on Friday. Matkovich and Percovich were assistant coaches for Chivas earlier in their careers, when Preki was Chivas head man.

Anibaba and midfielder Marco Pappa were the Fires central figures in a post-game scuffle after Saturdays loss. Anibaba admitted he had a role in the post-game issues.

"I went in to make a play on the ball, and it turned into a scuffle," he said. The red card was assessed for a challenge Anibaba made in stoppage time, according to Kennedys game report.

Pappa, who scored the lone Fire goal, wasnt penalized and will throw out the first pitch at the White Sox game on Tuesday.

Most of the players on both teams were embroiled in the post-game melee.

"There were some emotions at the end, but we just have to control that," Klopas admitted in his post-game press conference. "At times the referee has got to make the right calls and keep things under control. Our guys put a lot into our games, and they wore their emotions and passions on their sleeves. I know there were some arguments...I didnt see anything else happen.

Klopas was critical of the officiating in the match, which was filled with controversial calls. He disputed the interference call on Dominic Oduro, which resulted in a Pappa goal being waved off in the second half, and also felt that Rafael Robayo was fouled from behind in the box during the tense final moments.

Anibaba admitted it was "a hard-fought match and emotions were running high."

"But there was nothing malicious on either end, he said of the post-match scuffle.

With Cory Gibbs sidelined for most of the season following recent knee surgery, Anibabas loss could be painful for the Fire (2-2-2) on Friday. Captain Logan Pause could move to the back line or rookie Austin Berry, who has yet to play in an MLS match, could get the call. Berry was the Fires first-round draft pick out of the University of Louisville.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back vs. Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back vs. 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 6 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. How will Blackhawks respond to worst loss of season?

The Blackhawks suffered their worst loss of the season on Saturday in a 7-0 rout at the hands of the Panthers. It was the first time they've lost by at least seven goals since 2011 when Edmonton beat them 9-2 and the first time they lost 7-0 since 2001 against San Jose; the Blackhawks lost to Washington 6-0 earlier this year. But by no means was Saturday their worst effort of the season. A questionable interference penalty by Marcus Kruger led to a two-man advantage, which Florida cashed in on with a goal and another shortly after, and it opened up the floodgates. Expect a big bounce-back against a hungry Lightning team.

2. Lightning fighting for playoff lives.

Every game is a must-win for the Lightning with eight games remaining on their schedule. They're three points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand on the Bruins, who currently occupy that spot, but still have to jump the Islanders. The Lightning didn't do themselves any favors by losing three straight in regulation last week, but they've won two in a row and tonight will be the first of a four-game homestand for them.

3. Keep the puck off Nikita Kucherov's stick.

There isn't a hotter player in the NHL right now than Kucherov, who has seven goals and two assists in his last four games. He's had two hat tricks in the past month, and he ranks sixth in the league with 78 points and second in goals with 38. You know how lethal Artemi Panarin's slapshot is from the left faceoff circle? That's Kucherov, but on the right side.

4. Staying disciplined.

The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team in the league, but they acted out of character Saturday by racking up 30 penalty minutes. They were also slapped with a pair of unsportsmanlike penalties, which isn't something you normally see from Joel Quenneville's teams. Ryan Hartman, who along with Marcus Kruger was penalized for "yapping" at the officials, accepted responsibility for it after the game, and insisted it "won't happen again."

5. Special teams to play key factor?

On the flip side, the Lightning are the second-most penalized team, averaging just over 11 penalty minutes per game. Power plays will be key for the Blackhawks in an effort to keep Tampa Bay's collection of talented young goal scorers off the ice. The Lightning also boast a top-five power play unit with a 22 percent success rate. Both teams would be better served staying out of the box and making this a 5-on-5 battle.

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you’re ready for action

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- Latest on the Blackhawks: All of the most recent news and notes

- See what Blackhawks fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Blackhawks Pulse

White Sox may have to deal with Francisco Lindor for a while, according to unlikely source

White Sox may have to deal with Francisco Lindor for a while, according to unlikely source

Sources have confirmed that kids really do say the darndest things. 

In a spring training game Sunday afternoon, 6-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff, spilled the beans on his dad's prospective moves. Goated by announcer Todd Hamilton, Brody said that his dad was trying to keep Lindor in Cleveland for seven more years.

On one hand, Brody's honesty rivals a young Abraham Lincoln. Not even Adrian Wojnarowski could cultivate a source so honest and to the point. On the other, his dad probably is a little shocked that contract offer leaks are coming from his own family. 

Either way, though, hearing that Lindor may be in Cleveland for a while is bad news for the White Sox. The 23-year-old stud shortstop has hit over .300 in his first two big-league seasons. So definitely not someone you want to have in your division for years to come. Oh, plus he's absolutely nasty with the leather. 

Cubs fans know all about Lindor's talents, too. The shortstop hit .296 in his first World Series and was almost a key reason the Indians captured the crown. Almost!

Watch the hilarious exchange in the video above.