MONTREAL - Steve Bernier came out of the lineup Thursday night to make room for John Tavares to return. It was unfortunate timing for Bernier, a Montreal native, but he certainly did nothing to earn a return to the press box other than being the odd man out among 13 healthy forwards.
"He's played real well for us,'' coach Jack Capuano said of Bernier, who hasn't scored a point in his five games but made his presence known, especially in the three games he played during Tavares' absence.
Bernier fit right in with the Isles' hit-heavy style, credited with 11 hits in the three games. He also had eight shots on goal.
"Other than scoring goals, I think I played exactly the way I need to," Bernier said. "As a team we weren't scoring much, so you get yourself into the game by finishing every check. But now I just need to work on my shooting, try to produce some offense when I get my chance again."
Bernier was the lone Islanders addition this offseason among the forwards, earning a one-year deal on the opening day of training camp when the Islanders sent Michael Grabner to the Maple Leafs. The desire was to have another forward who could play a hard game.
"When you look at the Washington [playoff] series, we were looking for someone like [Bernier] who could play a heavy game in those tight-checking playoff games," Capuano said. "Garth [Snow] and I talked about him this summer and he really fit what we wanted."
Bad news for Petrov
Islanders prospect Kirill Petrov, the 25-year-old Russian forward who just missed making the team out of training camp, will miss one to two months after suffering a broken foot while playing for Bridgeport.
Petrov, the Islanders' third-round pick in 2008, spent the past seven seasons playing in the KHL in his hometown of Kazan. He decided to come over to North America when his contract was up and had an impressive camp, but the glut of forwards on one-way deals hurt his chances to make the Isles.
He has a goal and four assists in 12 games with Bridgeport.