TORONTO -- It is becoming the expected when the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens play this season.
One team figures to win big.
It was the Maple Leafs' turn Saturday as they scored three goals in the first 10:25 of the game to beat the Canadiens 5-1 before a crowd of 19,651 at Air Canada Centre.
"Lopsided scores," Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle said. "We had a lopsided score the last time in Montreal (6-0 for Toronto on Feb. 9) and then we had a lopsided score when we came back here (5-2 for Montreal on Feb. 27).
"We were fortunate enough to be on the right side of a lopsided score tonight. I don't think it was an atypical Montreal-Toronto hockey game."
The only close game between the teams this year was Toronto's 2-1 win at Montreal on Jan. 19 when play started after the lockout.
"We wanted to set the tone," said Leafs forward Tyler Bozak, who scored the first goal on a power play at 1:59 of the first period. "They kind of embarrassed last time in our own building."
Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban was not about to concede that Toronto seems to give his team problems.
"You play every game, you get ready for every game, we've beat them before, so it's no secret we've got to come out ready to play," Subban said. "If you don't come out ready to play against any team in this league you're going to get your butt handed to you."
Montreal goaltender Carey Price was shaky, allowing three goals on Toronto's first four shots of the game before he was replaced by Peter Budaj.
Meanwhile, Toronto netminder James Reimer handled 36 of 37 shots. Budaj stopped 22 of 24.
Leo Komarov, Jay McClement, Dion Phaneuf and Phil Kessel scored the other goals for Toronto (23-13-5) to build a 5-1 lead early in the second period.
Davis Drewiske scored for Montreal (26-10-5).
The Leafs lead the season series 3-1, with their other two wins coming in Montreal. The teams will play again April 27 in Toronto and could meet in the first round of the playoffs.
Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien felt that his team started out well. "I thought we were setting the tone in the first period," he said. "We were skating well, we were managing the puck well, we took some good shots, we were playing our game."
But the Maple Leafs had a 3-0 lead and the Canadiens had a new goaltender at 10:25 of the first period after McClement steered a backhand shot past Price for his seventh goal of the season. It was only the Leafs' fourth shot on goal. Budaj then replaced Price.
"We take it as a team, a lot of times the goalie was fantastic for us this year and won the hockey game," Therrien said.
When asked why Toronto has given his team trouble this year, he said, "No reason."
The Canadiens responded to the goalkeeper change with Drewiske's second goal of the season, a snap shot from 53 feet after Brendan Gallagher passed the puck in front of goal from the corner.
But Budaj was shaky on Phanuef's eighth goal of the season, a 59-foot wrist shot at 17:06 that gave the Maple Leafs a 4-1 lead. It was the only shot on goal against Budaj in the first period.
The Leafs struck early with Bozak, who scored his 12th goal of the season 18 seconds after Francis Bouillon was sent off for high-sticking at 1:41.
"It was nice to get an early lead," Bozak said. "We didn't play as well as we could in the first, it's just that our opportunities went in. We got better throughout the game. I thought we played better in the second even though we got only the one goal. Budaj played great when he came in, he shut the door."
Komarov scored his third goal of the season at 8:08 of the first period for a 2-0 lead.
There was some chippy play between the longtime rivals. Montreal's Brandon Prust and Toronto's Frazer McLaren were each given major penalties at 4:30 of the first period after a fight at center ice.
The Leafs took a 5-1 lead at 4:42 of the second when Kessel scored his 15th goal of the season, popping in a pass from James van Riemsdyk, who picked up his second assist of the game. It was the only one of Toronto's 14 shots in the second period that eluded Budaj.
"On our side it's frustrating being beaten 5-1," Subban said. "We've got to turn the page quickly. We've got a big game against Philly coming up."
NOTES: The Leafs were without forward Joffrey Lupul (concussion), who has resumed practicing with the team. ... Forward Mikhail Grabovski (stomach ailment) was in the lineup ... The Canadiens were without defensemen Alexei Emelin (knee) and Raphael Diaz (concussion) and forward Colby Armstrong (knee). ... The Habs defeated the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday to become the second team in the Eastern Conference to clinch a playoff berth after finishing last in the Eastern Conference last season. ... The way the playoff picture is shaping up, Montreal and Toronto could meet in the first round, which would be the first playoff series between the teams since 1979. ... Both teams play their next game at home on Monday. The Maple Leafs face the New Jersey Devils and the Habs play the Philadelphia Flyers.