The teams took turns controlling playing throughout the first 55 minutes. New York outshot the Devils 10-7 in a high-tempo first period, and New Jersey clamped down on defense in the second.
New Jersey killed all seven New York power plays. The Islanders stifled the Devils' first two advantages before Bernier broke through with the winning goal on New Jersey's third power play.
The Islanders generated only five shots in their 11:30 of power-play time. New York entered the day with the NHL's most potent power play.
"We can't get too frustrated. We had our opportunities on the power play," Capuano said. "They came a little bit more aggressive, I thought. They probably made a few adjustments, but again I thought we got in the zone in our entries the way that we had to but after that there was no energy.
"They were winning all the puck battles. We weren't moving our feet. We weren't functioning properly."
NOTES: New York scratched defensemen Joe Finley and Radek Martinek, and RW Colin McDonald. New Jersey scratched defensemen Peter Harrold and Henrik Tallinder, and C Stefan Matteau. .The Islanders and Devils will play twice more this season — Feb. 16 at Nassau Coliseum, and April 1 in New Jersey. ... The announced attendance was 11,558.