The Islanders' Ryan Strome lifts puck the toward the net...

The Islanders' Ryan Strome lifts puck the toward the net during the team's practice at Barclays Center ahead of their preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sept. 23, 2015. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

The Islanders convened for their first practice without Ryan Strome, who was busy convening with his new teammates in Bridgeport for his AHL season debut after being sent down Friday.

From Garth Snow and Jack Capuano on down to the Islanders veterans, the message to Strome was the same: regain your confidence and you'll be back.

"There's only one way to react to it when it happens: Work as hard as you can," said Josh Bailey, who was sent to Bridgeport for an 11-game stretch in 2010 under similar circumstances. "That's really the only option, and knowing Stromie and the kind of guy he is, that's the way he's going to view this and come back stronger in just a short time."

Strome was the only Islander still on his entry-level contract and thus the only one who didn't need waivers to be sent down. He had no points in his last five games, so he could certainly use a reboot, but Capuano intimated that there were some other Isles who should count themselves fortunate that they're no longer waiver exempt.

"It's not just Ryan," Capuano said after Saturday's practice. The Islanders host the Bruins at Barclays Center on Sunday. "We've got some guys who just aren't producing."

Brock Nelson, with just one point in his last eight games, is among those struggling to chip in offensively. Nelson signed a three-year, $7.5-million contract on the eve of training camp; if this slump were a season ago, he might have found himself in Strome's unenviable position.

But Nelson doesn't see his friend's demotion as a message to himself and the team. "You can't look at it and be timid because you're worried about things," Nelson said. "If anything, you have to be more confident when you're out there and do what you do best. It stinks for Stromer, but I expect him back here soon."

Strome sounded the same upbeat notes when speaking Saturday morning to reporters in Bridgeport.

"It's just another obstacle," Strome told the Connecticut Post. "There seem to be a couple of hurdles for me to get over in my career, and this is another. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to prove myself."

Steve Bernier, who played a hard-edged game (while going pointless) in three appearances while John Tavares was sidelined with illness, will jump into Strome's forward spot and Capuano showed three new lines at Saturday's practice.

John Tavares and Kyle Okposo were reunited and will likely start Sunday on a line with Nikolay Kulemin, the first full game this season for the Tavares-Okposo duo. Bernier skated with Anders Lee and Frans Nielsen and Nelson and Bailey were with Mikhail Grabovski.

"We have to find some offense," said Capuano, whose team has scored eight goals in its last five games (1-2-2). "We have to generate some zone time, some chances. So we've made a change and we'll go from there."

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