PITTSBURGH - Around 9:30 yesterday morning, after Braydon Coburn skated and was cleared to hop on a plane to Pittsburgh, Danny Syvret was still stuck in the Albany, N.Y., airport.

He, too, was destined for Pittsburgh.

Syvret, 24, was recalled by the Flyers from Adirondack on Monday night after Ole-Kristian Tollefsen left in the first period with a sprained left MCL. Tollefsen, the Flyers' regular seventh defenseman, is slated to miss 3-to-4 weeks. Syvret's eight points in nine games with the Phantoms earned him a return trip to the NHL.

Almost.

Syvret - who had been waiting at the airport in Albany since 5 a.m. - had connecting flights cancelled on four different airlines through different cities.

By the time he was ready to board a connecting flight to Baltimore at 11 o'clock in the morning, Syvret was told to return to Glens Falls, N.Y., with the Phantoms because Coburn had been given the go-ahead to return to the lineup.

Despite the delays, Syvret would have been able to make it to Mellon Arena in time for last night's game.

Coburn received news on Monday that his ankle injury - that was first thought to be a high-ankle sprain - was much different.

"Luckily, it wasn't something that we originally thought it was," Coburn said. "There was a cyst that ruptured in my ankle that basically caused it to fill up with fluid and basically kind of immobilized it for 2 days."

Coburn said his decision to play last night was based solely upon his "pain threshold," and insisted he was not being pushed back into the lineup prematurely.

"I started walking around the house more [on Monday]," Coburn said. "It felt good enough that I felt comfortable calling [Flyers trainer] Jimmy [McCrossin] and saying, 'I'm an option if you want to give me a shout.'

"Once you get into the skate, it's kind of immobilized - it's kind of like a cast."

Last night, Coburn was not paired with his usual partner in Kimmo Timonen. He skated limited minutes with Oskars Bartulis on the third pair. Timonen, coming off his first two-goal game in 2 years, remained with Ryan Parent. Timonen and Coburn had struggled as a pair in recent games.

Carter on the wing

Peter Laviolette kept Jeff Carter on the wing last night for the second game in a row. He skated on a line with Dan Carcillo and Mike Richards, which opened up room for Claude Giroux in the middle of the ice.

"I know he likes playing with Richie," Laviolette said. "What I really liked that I saw was G [Giroux] back in the middle. Giroux, I thought, used his speed in the middle of the ice and was able to generate a lot of chances."

Kick saves

Andreas Nodl was a "healthy" scratch last night for the second game in a row. The Daily News spotted him receiving treatment in Boston, so it's not apparent how healthy he has been - Nodl did not skate in either practice in Boston . . . Scott Hartnell was given a razzing by fans at the Igloo last night for his alleged biting of Kris Letang back in Philadelphia on Oct. 8. Hartnell had a hearing with NHL's discipline committee but was not suspended, despite repeated claims by Letang that Hartnell chomped his finger through his glove. One sign hanging from the upper deck read: "Hartnell says Letang tastes like chicken and is finger- licking good."