ST. LOUIS - Steve Bernier made his Islanders debut Saturday night after sitting as a healthy scratch for the first seven games of the season. That's not even a long wait for the 30-year-old, who was sent to the AHL after training camp last season by the Devils, returned a month later and ended up with a career-best 16 goals.
"It's no different than anywhere. Sometimes you have to wait for your chance," Bernier said earlier this season. "I just want to be ready when I get it."
Bernier was offered a tryout by the Islanders that turned into a one-year, $750,000 deal on Sept. 17, the day training camp opened. Bernier took his physical and then got a nice gift after the Islanders dealt Michael Grabner to the Maple Leafs that same day.
Marek Zidlicky took a seat alongside Ryan Strome for Saturday night's game, with Brian Strait going back in on the third defense pair with Thomas Hickey.
The Islanders had wanted a very clear lefthanded shot/left defense player this season, so Strait (a lefty) going in on the right side for Zidlicky (a righty) seemed more a spontaneous decision. Ryan Pulock, who spent the first week of the season as a healthy scratch with the Isles before being sent down, was with Bridgeport in Newfoundland.
The Blues had a slew of early-season injuries to contend with. Already without All-Star defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (lower body) since early in the week, the Blues lost Paul Stastny (broken foot) and Jaden Schwartz (broken ankle) in the past few days.
Schwartz was injured during practice on Thursday when he slipped and his ankle crashed into the goal post.