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Connor Murphy activated from IR, will play in Blackhawks’ home opener vs. Sharks

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The defenseman will play in his first Chicago home opener.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Connor Murphy will play in the Blackhawks’ home opener Thursday against the Sharks after he was cleared to play and activated off injured reserve.

Murphy missed Chicago’s season-opening 4-3 loss to the Flyers in Prague due to a groin injury. The right-handed defenseman sat out some practices in Europe, but was a full participant once the team returned to Chicago. It’ll be the first Chicago home opener for Murphy, who missed more than two months at the start of last season due to having back surgery before training camp.

Murphy skated on the third pairing with Slater Koekkoek in all three practices this week. Koekkoek remains in the lineup as offseason acquisition Calvin de Haan works his way back from a groin strain. De Haan joined the team for practice Thursday, but won’t play against San Jose.