The long layoff during the NHL lockout didn't take any of the venom out of the Devils-Flyers rivalry.

Fully understanding that in a shortened season a poor start can be costly, the two Atlantic Division rivals played with the kind of intensity few would have guessed possible this early in the schedule.

"If you compare it to the Stanley Cup Finals, it's not (there). You shouldn't compare this to that, but I think this is great hockey," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said.

"You'll see more and more cohesiveness with teams getting their new systems in place. We're fortunate we're playing the same way we played last year. I think the transition might be a little easier for us than for teams that are trying to change some stuff."

With a 3-0 victory over the Flyers Tuesday night in their home opener before a sellout crowd of 17,625 at the Prudential Center, the Devils have started with two wins.

The shutout was Brodeur's 120th of his career and his 10th against the Flyers, matching the 10 he has against the Islanders for the most against one club. In order to do it, the Devils needed to kill off six Flyers power plays.

"Obviously he's the key to this team," center Travis Zajac said of Brodeur. "He's our best PKer (penalty-killer). I don't think there's another goalie that does what he does."

Zajac scored his second goal in as many games, as did David Clarkson. When Ilya Kovalchuk scored on a penalty shot in the second period, the Devils took command.

The Flyers are 0-3, the first time they've lost three in a row to open a season since the lockout-shortened 1995 campaign.