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Crosby, Malkin to Face Off in IIHF Title Game Sunday

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Canada and Russia are in Sunday's gold medal game at the IIHF World Championships in Prague, where Crosby and Malkin will be opponents for the first time since your last message board trade proposal.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Saturday, Team Russia beat the United States by a 4-0 final to earn a spot in the title game, where they'll be awaited by Team Canada.

That is to say, Evgeni Malkin and the Russians will be awaited by Sidney Crosby's undefeated Team Canada for a shot at Gold.

It's not the Olympics, but in the absence of the Games and still awaiting the NHL's rebranded World Cup of Hockey, the IIHF tournament is as close as hockey comes to an interntaional best-on-best tournament.

(Best-on-best without those best players still at work in the NHL playoffs, anyway).

This year, Crosby and Malkin were participants from the beginning of the tournament, having been eliminated by the Rangers in the first round of the NHL postseason. Now, they'll face off for the chance to eliminate one another from another playoff.

This year's tournament marks Crosby's second appearance in the IIHF Worlds and first since 2006, where he scored 16 points in nine games as an 18-year-old, taking tournament MVP honors.

Pulling off the gold will put Crosby in some rare company.

From the Penguins,

Crosby has a chance to join the Triple Gold Club; players who have won the Stanley Cup, Olympic gold and the World Championship. There are 25 who have won all three titles, and eight of them are from Canada: Rob Blake, Joe Sakic, Brendan Shanahan, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Eric Staal, Jonathan Toews and Patrice Bergeron. Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has also won all three.

In eight games, Crosby has nine points (3-6) as team captain.

Malkin, too, has nine points in eight contests. His bid in this year's tournament is his sixth. Malkin won it all with Russia twice previously, including being named MVP in the 2012 tournament following his Art Ross and Hart Trophy wins in the same NHL season.

Sunday's title game is set for 2:30 pm stateside.

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