New York Rangers at New York Islanders

Berard scores goal in return for second stint with Islanders

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Bryan Berard found his comfort zone, just inside the blue line with a defensive unit trying to kill off a penalty.

The New York Islanders had a 5-on-3 advantage, and the New York Rangers had to figure out how to cover him and defense partner Marc-Andre Bergeron.

They couldn't.

Berard broke a second-period tie in his return to Long Island, and Bergeron had a goal and assist Wednesday to lift the Islanders to a 2-1 victory over the Rangers.

Berard, signed to a one-year deal Tuesday 10 years after winning top NHL rookie honors with the Islanders, gave them a 2-1 edge with 6:04 left in the period. Bergeron, who scored the first goal in the closing seconds of the opening frame, earned the second assist.

This marks the latest in a string of impressive comebacks for Berard, who was limited to 11 games last season with Columbus following back surgery and earned a roster spot after coming to Islanders training camp on a tryout basis.

"A lot of people questioned if I was healthy this summer after two back surgeries and missing a lot of hockey the last two years," the 30-year-old Berard said. "I came in proving I'm healthy. I'm feeling good and I'm only going to get better."

He stayed around the Islanders as the season began and waited for a spot to open. Berard even covered his own expenses after training camp ended. His latest chance came Monday when defenseman Freddy Meyer was claimed off waivers by Phoenix.

It wasn't like his return to the NHL after a severe eye injury in 2000 that forced him to miss a full season, but this one was still important.

"He showed us a lot by sticking in practice, paying his own way with no guarantee," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "He earned himself a contract."

Rick DiPietro made 36 saves for the Islanders, who bounced back from a 2-1 home loss to Washington on Monday to win for the third time in four games.

"You have a bad month, it's tough to climb back," captain Bill Guerin said. "There are no easy games anymore. There is no more expansion teams to pick on. You have to be ready every single night for a battle and they're all important. There are must wins in October."

Fedor Tyutin scored the lone goal for the Rangers, who have dropped two straight following a season-opening victory and began a stretch of three games in four nights. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 28 shots.

They were 0-for-6 on the power play -- one 5-on-3 -- and have yet to score a man-advantage goal this season in 15 chances. The Islanders went 1-for-6 and are 4-for-16 overall in the young season.

"This was probably our best game, but that's hockey," Rangers forward Scott Gomez said. "We're getting our (power play) shots, but it's going to take one going off someone's back or something."

With Marek Malik and Blair Betts serving hooking penalties whistled 18 seconds apart, Berard finished a two-man game with Guerin.

Berard, expected to quarterback the Islanders' power play, moved the puck to Guerin on the goal line to the right of Lundqvist. Guerin passed back up to Berard, who fired in a shot from above the left circle with 6:04 left in the middle period.

It was Berard's first goal since Jan. 27, 2006, a span of only 11 games. All three goals and eight points in the game were recorded by defensemen.

Tyutin got the Rangers into a 1-1 tie at 2:09 of the second with a shot from the high slot that eluded DiPietro.

"We had chances -- no question," captain Jaromir Jagr said. "The potential here is very high. When we start clicking, we'll be a great team."

The Islanders grabbed a 1-0 lead with 3.5 seconds left in the first period with the teams skating 3-on-3. Mike Sillinger won a faceoff in the right circle, and the puck dribbled back to the hash marks. Bergeron charged in from the right point, and his rocket slap shot beat Lundqvist.

Outside of some roughing penalties, there was none of the fisticuffs that filled a preseason game between the teams. Islanders enforcer Chris Simon played then but not Wednesday as he still has one game remaining on his 25-game ban for a stick-swinging hit from last season on Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg.

Notes

  • Islanders forward Jon Sim (knee) missed his second consecutive game and is out indefinitely.
  • With Berard, the Islanders dressed seven defensemen. RW Darryl Bootland, who played in the first three games, was scratched.
  • Rangers D Paul Mara was scratched for a second straight game.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Scoring a goal, Bryan Berard shows the Islanders they made no mistake signing him Tuesday. (Getty Images)
Scoring a goal, Bryan Berard shows the Islanders they made no mistake signing him Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Related Links
 
Scoreboard
NY Rangers (1-2-0)0101
NY Islanders  (3-1-0) «1102
Three Stars
R. DiPietro
NYI


Saves: 36
Save Pct.: .973
B. Berard
NYI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
M. Bergeron
NYI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
19:56Marc-Andre Bergeron (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Mike Sillinger
2ND PERIOD
02:09Fedor Tyutin (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Martin Straka, Marcel Hossa
13:56Power Play - Bryan Berard (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bill Guerin, Marc-Andre Bergeron
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:04Hollweg, 2 min, Interference
06:42Sutton, 2 min, Holding
12:20Callahan, 2 min, Roughing
12:20Fedotenko, 2 min, Roughing
18:06Berard, 2 min, Hooking
18:06Callahan, 2 min, Diving
19:44Witt, 2 min, Tripping
19:53Shanahan, 2 min, Holding the stick
2ND PERIOD
13:08Malik, 2 min, Hooking
13:26Betts, 2 min, Hooking
14:49Lundqvist, 2 min, Delaying Game
3RD PERIOD
04:33Guerin, 2 min, Slashing
05:56Gervais, 2 min, High sticking
09:39Hossa, 2 min, Hooking
09:47Rozsival, 2 min, Boarding
11:10Guerin, 2 min, Holding
19:42Sutton, 2 min, Cross Check
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
NY Rangers12131237
NY Islanders159630
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Henrik Lundqvist58:58282
Rick DiPietro60:00361
Game Information
Attendance - 15295
Referees - Marc Joannette, Chris Rooney
Linesmen - Pierre Champoux, Brian Murphy
 
Other Games
SJ 2 Final
Chi 1
Edm 0 Final
Min 2
LA 1 Final
Dal 5
Pho 0 Final
Colu 3
Fla 1 Final
TB 2
Cal 2 Final
Det 4
Nash 1 Final
StL 4
Phi 8 Final
Van 2
Ott 3 Final
Atl 1
Bos 1 Final
Ana 2
Mon 3 Final
Pitt 2