Coming off a tough game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, right winger Justin Fontaine was the odd man out Monday against the Detroit Red Wings.
It was the first time he was a healthy scratch this season.
Coach Mike Yeo has high expectations for the 28-year-old Fontaine, who has two goals, six assists and 15 shots in 21 games. Yeo thinks the pending unrestricted free agent can be a solid player in this league but said that at times, Fontaine seems satisfied just being a secondary guy in the lineup.
"That's my thing with him," Yeo said. "I want to see him take a step in his career, because we have a lot of confidence what he can do and what he can be as a player. He's shown signs of it from game to game. In certain games, it's just a matter of making sure the consistency is there night after night, shift after shift. That's what he has to discover in his game."
Yeo said he had a "good chat" with Fontaine on Sunday: "It's always how a player responds, and he'll get a chance to respond."
Fontaine agrees he sometimes gets too complacent.
"Every player goes through ups and downs," Fontaine said. "There are times when you have stretches of good games and then you're kind of lackadaisical here or there. … Next time I get in, I'll be ready to go."
With Fontaine out, Erik Haula moved to third-line center on a line with Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle, who moved to right wing.
Kuemper a late scratch
Goalie Devan Dubnyk was supposed to back up Darcy Kuemper on Monday after a shot in a fluky manner caught Dubnyk between his chest guard and blocker during Sunday's practice. Dubnyk sustained a deep cut on his right wrist.
But Kuemper sustained an upper-body injury during Monday's morning skate, forcing Dubnyk to suddenly get called upon against the Red Wings. Niklas Backstrom backed up for the fourth time this season.
It took two stitches inside and four outside to close Dubnyk's wound. A team doctor originally worried about tendon damage, but Dubnyk got lucky, especially because X-rays were negative, too.
It has been a crazy year for Dubnyk. He has had a bruised knee, a strained groin, a cut cheek, black eye and now this.
"Knock on wood, but I've never missed time in my career to anything and all of sudden I pull my groin, took a stick in the eye, busted open my wrist and the knee early," Dubnyk said.
• The Wild is supposed to practice at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Edina at Braemar Ice Arena's outdoor rink, but if snow makes things uncomfortable for the public, the Wild may move inside. Asked what he was hoping for, Yeo joked, "Good weather, and I'm not so sure I'll get that wish." Yeo said the Wild plans to conduct a 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 scrimmage in front of the fans, and he wants to get good use of the practice.
• Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov, a 2015 fifth-round draft pick, had a goal, an assist and three shots in Russia's 6-4 victory over Finland at the world junior championship.
• Zach Parise, who aggravated a leg injury Sunday, played against the Red Wings, as did Ryan Carter, who missed Saturday's game because he got slashed across his left hand against Montreal and couldn't grip his stick at Saturday's morning skate.