Sean Avery surged past camera crews and reporters yesterday, choosing to save his comments this time for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman during a 3-hour disciplinary hearing.

The Dallas forward was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday just hours after he used a crude expression to describe former girlfriends now dating others while speaking to reporters.

Hockey's most notorious pest came to league headquarters in midtown Manhattan to give his version of the latest events that landed him in big trouble. Now it's up to Bettman to determine just how long Avery will be kept off the ice.

The NHL said that announcement would be made today.

"I haven't made a decision yet," Bettman said yesterday during his weekly radio show broadcast on

In games last night:

* At Raleigh, Petr Sykora scored two goals, Sidney Crosby had four assists and Pittsburgh routed Carolina, 5-2.

* At Nashville, Vernon Fiddler, Shea Weber and David Legwand scored first-period goals, and Pekka Rinne made 19 saves in the Predators' 3-2 win over Colorado.

* At Detroit, Jiri Hudler and Dan Cleary each scored twice and the Red Wings defeated Vancouver, 6-5.

* At Washington, enforcer Donald Brashear scored his first goal of the season with 13:10 left to snap a 2-2 tie, and the Capitals went on to beat the New York Islanders, 5-2.

* At Montreal, Steve Begin and Maxim Lapierre each had a goal and an assist and the Canadiens scored three times in the first period to celebrate their 99th birthday with a 6-2 victory over the New York Rangers.

* At Tampa, David Krejci scored the tiebreaking shorthanded goal in the third period to lead Boston past the Lightning, 3-1.

* At Sunrise, Fla., Craig Anderson made 45 saves, and Gregory Campbell and Keith Ballard scored 35 seconds apart in the second period in the Panthers' 2-1 win over Buffalo.

* At Glendale, Ariz., Martin Hanzal had his first three-goal game in the NHL, and Steven Reinprecht added a pair of third-period goals in the Phoenix Coyotes' 6-3 victory over Toronto. *