After missing five of first seven games, Murray back for Jackets

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Columbus will get a big piece of its defense back on Tuesday, as Ryan Murray will suit up for the first time in four games when the Jackets host Dallas.

Murray, out since Oct. 21 with a head injury following a hit from Chicago d-man Brent Seabrook, had also missed time earlier in the season with a lower-body ailment after blocking a Brad Marchand shot in Columbus’ season-opener against Boston.

Injuries are a recurring theme for Murray.

The 23-year-old, taken second overall by Columbus in 2012, missed a ton of time over his first two professional campaigns, though rebounded nicely to appear in all 82 contests for Columbus last season (finishing with 25 points).

This fall, he represented Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey, along with fellow Blue Jackets d-man Seth Jones.

When healthy, Murray is a vital cog in the Columbus defense. He averaged nearly 23 minutes per game last season and features prominently on the power play.

As such, his return will be a welcome one for the Blue Jackets, who have performed reasonably well after getting off to an 0-2 start. They’re 3-1-1 in their last five, which includes an impressive 4-0 shutout win in Anaheim on Friday night.

A big reason for that success? The play of Sergei Bobrovsky, who has been excellent — and busy — for the Jackets.

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