It has the potential to be a showdown for the ages, a game that could become part of hockey folklore, and not even Alexander Ovechkin can get a private box at the Verizon Center for his family, friends and “Russian celebrities.”

“Everything is sold out. It’s pretty cool right now in Washington; D.C. changed a lot in the last four years and it’s Hockeytown now,” said the Capitals’ sniper. “Fans are just crazy here. They scream and (tonight) is going to be an unbelievable atmosphere.”

Game 7s, with their built-in tension and drama, are special anyway. But that tonight’s ultimate faceoff will cap a brilliantly played series showcasing the game’s brightest young stars could make this a very special night for the NHL.

“This series has a storyline that will play out nicely on a 10-minute segment about great series,” said Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma.

“It’s certainly a storyline that’s lived up to what everyone thought it would be and we certainly have the opportunity to write the story (tonight) that will make it a great one.”

Just consider what’s happened so far:

• Two teams, featuring the league’s top three scorers in Evgeni Malkin, Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, pushing each other to the max with each of those stars taking turns making games a personal showcase.

• Five of the six games have been decided by one goal, with three going into overtime.

• There was the game of one-upmanship in which Crosby and Ovechkin traded hat tricks in Game 2.

• There were instant, and unheralded heroes, created when Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and Washington’s David Steckel scored overtime winners in Games 3 and 6, respectively.

And there will be one more chapter tonight.