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NHL rivals Sidney Crosby, left, and Alex Ovechkin first had a brush with each other at the 2004 world junior hockey championship in Helsinki. ((Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press))

There should be some compelling sports television on Sunday and we're talking about more than the Indianapolis Colts-New Orleans Saints Super Bowl tilt from Miami.

Earlier in the day, a matchup featuring a pair of NHL captains will take place in Washington, with the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin clashing with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby in what many hope is a prelude to a showdown at the upcoming Vancouver Olympics.

Friends off the ice at the annual NHL awards ceremony and all-star games, Ovechkin and Crosby are the fiercest of rivals when the games count in the standings.

Below, CBC's senior hockey writer Tim Wharnsby highlights each of their accomplishments, some of their more memorable battles and other interesting news from the ice.

Wharnsby's Top 5

Potential Crosby-Ovechkin Olympic clash exciting

Alex Ovechkin versus Sidney Crosby is a hockey match made in heaven. On Sunday, they will clash on the ice for the final time before what most hockey nuts hope is a prelude to a Sid the Kid, Alexander the Great showdown at the Vancouver Olympics.

Kovalchuk wanted out of Atlanta

Ilya Kovalchuk finally got his wish and was dealt away from the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday evening. The left-winger never demanded a trade from the Thrashers, but he certainly made it clear general manager Don Waddell that he wanted out when he turned down two different lucrative proposals last fall.

Brodeur's place as Canada's No. 1 isn't a given

The decision on Team Canada's starting goalie at the upcoming Winter Olympics won't be made until the coaching staff gathers in Vancouver on Feb. 14 or the following day at Canada's practice. Most will be surprised if 37-year-old Martin Brodeur is not the go-to goalie. But his place as No. 1 isn't a given.

Pushing the salary cap

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke deserves applause for his recent transactions in two separate trades with the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks. He acquired defenceman Dion Phaneuf from Calgary and later sent goalie Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake in exchange for netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Although, these moves continued to put the Leafs right up against the salary cap, subtracting Blake's $4-million US salary from the books is a big relief.

Pronger wary of crossing Olympic line

Philadelphia Flyers defenceman dubiously has been anointed the NHL's dirtiest player, but makes no apologies for living life on the edge with his stick, and his methods to keep the puck out of his own goal. But the trick for the kid from Dryden, Ont., is to swiftly find a happy medium between what will be acceptable and what will be intolerable at the men's Olympic hockey tournament in Vancouver.

Don Waddell

'We're struggling with our attendance as it is. The only way we're going to brings fans back is by winning hockey games.' – Thrashers GM Don Waddell after trading star left-winger Ilya Kovalchuk

Chris Pronger

'You get excited more and more as it gets closer. But you don't want to look too far down the road because you have to play between 50 and 60 games with your team before the Olympics. First and foremost, you have to play hard for the team you make a living with.' – Flyers defenceman Chris Pronger on being a member of Team Canada.