Bernier hesitated before putting his shot past Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
''That's what I usually do all the time,'' said Bernier, who scored his fifth goal. ''It works, so I'm not going to stop.''
Zarek Valentin got Montreal (6-11-3) even with the tying goal in the 78th minute. Valentin scored on a shot from the right side to tie it.
''We're very happy because we finally won,'' said Impact striker Marco Di Vaio, who got his first win since making his Major League Soccer debut in a 3-0 loss to Toronto on June 27.
Milan Mirosevic broke the scoreless draw 64 minutes in for Columbus (6-6-4). The Crew striker cut across to head in Nemanja Vukovich's left-footed corner kick off Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts' hand and into the right side of the net.
Di Vaio began Valentin's scoring play, setting up Sanna Nyassi who fed a pass to his right to Valentin. His shot beat Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum into the right side of the net.
''That's frustrating,'' Crew defender Josh Williams said. ''We got the goal, we started to settle down a little bit and knock the ball but we got a little impatient. They're a good team at home so a few mistakes here and there and it cost us at the end.''
Gruenebaum made a diving save on Jeb Brovsky's long kick in the 76th minute.
''Oh man, from my view I thought it was going in,'' Brovsky said. ''He's a very good 'keeper and give him credit, that was a great save.''
It was the teams' second meeting. Gruenebaum recorded a shutout and Mirosevic and Olman Vargas scored in the Crew's 2-0 home win over Montreal on March 24.
The Impact played most of that game one man short after Brovsky was shown a red card and sent off 19 minutes in for elbowing Mirosevic in the back of the head.
Lamar Neagle headed the ball just wide of the left post off Di Vaio's deft set up early in the second half. The veteran Italian striker created the scoring opportunity 49 minutes in when he floated a pass to Neagle over defender Josh Williams.
Di Vaio created another chance moments later when he sent in Sanna Nyassi, whose shot was blocked by Gruenebaum.
''Yeah, he's a good player,'' Williams said. ''He's not too fast but he's crafty and he plays good angles. He's a pretty physical guy. You gain a lot of experience playing against a guy with that much national team experience. He's scored a lot of big goals for Italy and everything. He's a creative player it's always good to match up and defend against guys like that.''
Crew captain Chad Marshall returned after missing eight games because of a concussion. Columbus won four and lost three without Marshall, who had not played since he was hit on the head by a ball in practice on May 4.
The Impact were without captain Davy Arnaud and midfielder Felipe Martins. Both players served one-game suspensions after each received his fifth yellow card of the season in Wednesday night's 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
Nyassi will be suspended for Montreal's next game, Saturday in Philadelphia. Nyassi was shown his fifth yellow card of the season for a hard tackle late in the first half.
Columbus midfielder Tony Tchani was shown a yellow card by referee Matthew Foerster in the 39th minute for kicking the ball into the stands.
- Columbus Crew
- Andy Gruenebaum
- Marco Di Vaio
- Sanna Nyassi
- Patrice Bernier
- Montreal Impact
- Josh Williams