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Former Bulldog Justin Fontaine set to return to lineup for Wild

Minnesota Wild forward Justin Fontaine (14) scores against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack (31) in a shoot out during sudden death overtime at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., on Feb. 28, 2014. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON - After five games out as a healthy scratch, the Wild’s third-leading scorer is set to return to the lineup Monday night.

Justin Fontaine’s 12 goals tie him with Dany Heatley and Nino Niederreiter for third most on the team, but he has been scratched each game since the Wild acquired Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick at the trade deadline.

 Monday is an opportunity for Fontaine, a former Minnesota Duluth Bulldog, to earn more playing time.

"It’s exciting," Fontaine said. "It’s never fun sitting out, but you put in work to stay sharp, and now I’ve got to take advantage of it."

Moulson has scored 18 goals combined in 60 games for three different teams. Fontaine’s 12 goals have come in just 54 games.

"Hopefully he gets right back to where he was when he first came out of the lineup," coach Mike Yeo said. "When we added a couple players, it had a big impact on a lot of guys, and probably him more so than anybody."

Fontaine was expected to take the place of McCormick.

The Wild wanted to give McCormick a chance to get accustomed to the team and see what he could bring, and because Fontaine doesn’t play on special teams, Yeo said, it made it easier to remove Fontaine from the lineup.

"When he’s playing well," Yeo said, "he’s playing a strong game in the offensive zone, he’s executing along the wall and he’s a reliable two-way player."