Sergei Kostitsyn, Maxim Lapierre and Guillaume Latendresse scored in the first period and the Montreal Canadiens went on to a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in a chippy game Thursday night.

Tomas Kaberle, with his third of the season and first since Nov. 13, and Matt Stajan scored for Toronto (16-19-6), which has lost six of its last eight.

The Canadiens scored five times on 21 shots on Vesa Toskala, who was replaced by Curtis Joseph to start the third period.

The game was marked by numerous skirmishes and shoving matches, which referees Tim Peel and Chris Ciamaga tried to control by issuing eight 10-minute misconducts, four to each side.

After Kovalev scored 6:20 into the second frame for a 4-1 lead, two pairs of misconducts were called, and then the fights started, with Jamal Mayers laying a beating on Montreal’s Tom Kostopoulos and Francis Bouillon engaging a free-swinging bout from both players in a tussle with newly acquired Leaf Brad May.

In a 1:25 stretch midway through the second, a total of 62 penalty minutes were called.

Late in game, there was shouting between the benches as Andre Deveaux and Lapierre were penaltized, and then former Canadien Mikhail Grabovski and Sergei Kostitsyn tried to get at each other but were restrained by the officials.

The Leafs are back in action Saturday against the Flyers (7 p.m., CBC, AM 640).

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