TORONTO (Ticker) -- The "A" line got back on track, and not a moment too soon for the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils.
Held to four points in the first four games of the series, New Jersey's top line of Sykora, Arnott and Patrik Elias has produced four goals and five assists in the last two contests.
"We put our own pressure on ourselves," Arnott said. "The frustrating thing was we were getting opportunities and we just weren't capitalizing. We started to relax and started to play our game."
On Monday night, Sykora opened the scoring 4:54 into the first period and Arnott capped it 5:58 into the third. In between, Randy McKay and defenseman Brian Rafalski tallied in a 4:34 span of the second period to break a 1-1 tie.
The Devils never trailed and have won 14 of their last 18 playoff road games. They will host Game Seven on Wednesday night.
Last year, New Jersey overcame a three games to one deficit and beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the conference finals en route to its second Stanley Cup championship in six years.
"We weren't going to go quietly," defenseman Ken Daneyko said. "We've been in this position before. It's been a tough, tough series. The Leafs have played extremely well. It's tough the second time around. Now we're back to Game Seven and anything can happen."
"You learn how to play minute by minute, period by period, and not overlook the whole game and think we've got to push a Game Seven," added Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. "You take baby steps out there. I think that's what we learned when we were down so much, 3-1, to the Flyers and were able to get back in the series."
This series was back in Toronto for the first time since Tie Domi's vicious elbow knocked out New Jersey defenseman Scott Niedermayer in the final seconds of Game Four. With 25.9 seconds left in the third period, Devils right wing Randy McKay took a slash to the right leg from Curtis Joseph and retaliated with a right to the goaltender's mask.
"I'm only going to take so much abuse. I thought it was unwarranted, so I retaliated," McKay said.
That set off a wild scramble around the net, although referees Dan Marouelli and Kevin Pollock handed out only six minor penalties.
"I don't know what that was," Maple Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe said. "There were only 20 seconds left, (jumping) on Cujo. But it's the playoffs. They try to do the little things to knock around your goalie."
Steve Thomas and Mats Sundin scored power-play goals for the Maple Leafs, who were beaten in regulation for the first time in this year's playoffs.
"We knew going into this series we were up against the defending champs, and it's not going to be easy. We knew coming into this game they were going to have their best game. They did and we did not play as good as we have," Sundin said. "We made some small mistakes and that's all it takes to lose against those guys."
Brodeur made 24 saves for the Devils and stopped Thomas twice early in the first period to keep the game scoreless.
Sykora put New Jersey in front on its third shot of the night, taking a drop pass from Arnott above the right faceoff circle and rifling a shot under Joseph's glove and inside the right goalpost for his fourth playoff goal.
New Jersey is 6-0 in the postseason when scoring first.
The Devils got a couple of breaks in the first period when Sundin fired shots off the left goalpost and crossbar. But Thomas made New Jersey pay for a tripping penalty on Bobby Holik. With 14:53 left in the second period, the former Devil completed a three-way passing play and beat Brodeur from the slot for his fifth goal of the series.
Thomas had only eight goals in 57 games during the regular season and was blanked in Toronto's first-round sweep of Ottawa.
New Jersey killed penalties on Alexander Mogilny and defenseman Ken Sutton before cashing in on the power play at 15:18. With 34 seconds left on defenseman Danny Markov's roughing penalty, McKay took a pass from Scott Gomez at the right faceoff dot and wristed a shot that went off Joseph's blocker and into the net.
Rafalski got the eventual game-winner, his second of the series, with 7.1 seconds to go in the period.
Pursuing Jay Pandolfo to the net, Maple Leafs defenseman Dmitry Yushkevich knocked away Joseph's stick. The goalie barely recovered when Pandolfo flicked a backhander into the slot to set up Rafalski's fourth playoff goal, which leads all NHL defensemen.
"I'm more impressed by wins right now. Goals, whoever gets them doesn't matter," Rafalski said. "We couldn't afford to lose tonight and we can't afford to lose on Wednesday."
"We battled back and scored a goal, but I think that goal that was scored with seven seconds left was a big goal and maybe deflated us a little bit," said Thomas.
Devils defenseman Colin White was penalized for roughing 1:47 into the third period after retaliating for a hit by Darcy Tucker. Toronto needed 30 seconds to make it a one-goal game as Sundin's slap shot from the left circle tipped off Brodeur's glove and snuck inside the far post.
Sundin has four goals and four assists in the series after managing a single assist against New Jersey in last year's conference semifinals.
White was benched for the final 17:43 by coach Larry Robinson.
"I had warned them before," Robinson said. "We took six penalties tonight and four of the six were of the undisciplined nature. After the fourth one, I told everybody, 'That's it, next guy is going to sit on the bench.' And lo and behold, he happened to be the next guy."
Arnott restored the Devils' two-goal lead just over 3 1/2 minutes later, following a spectacular play by Elias. Moving in 1-on-1 against Yushkevich, Elias spun and whipped a backhander that tested Joseph. Markov's clearing attempt went right to Arnott, who flicked a shot from the right circle past Joseph.
Brodeur kept the Maple Leafs at bay thereafter, gloving Thomas' power-play blast from the left circle with Gary Roberts poised for a rebound with 5 1/2 minutes left and scooping up Alyn McCauley's shot from the left side two minutes later.
New Jersey is 3-5 all-time in Game Sevens while Toronto is 9-7. The Leafs' last seventh game was a 5-2 home loss to Chicago in the 1995 Western Conference quarterfinals.
"We don't look at this as doing anything significant because we just gave ourselves an opportunity to win the series in the seventh game," Holik said. "They have three games, we have three games, we still need to win four."
"They played well, give them a little credit. But I thought we battled pretty hard," said McCabe. "We knew it wasn't going to be an easy road."