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Avalanche

Coyotes Blank Avs

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(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Mike Smith stopped 24 shots in his return to the Phoenix lineup and earned his fifth shutout of the season as the Coyotes beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 on Saturday night.

Martin Hanzal and Shane Doan each had a goal and an assist, Mikkel Boedker and Boyd Gordon also scored, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists for the Coyotes, who won their third straight.

Phoenix jumped ahead of Columbus and Edmonton into ninth place in the Western Conference, two points behind St. Louis and three behind seventh-place Detroit.

Smith hadn’t played since sustaining an upper body injury on March 21 when he was run over by Vancouver defenseman Alexander Edler.

Against the hapless Avalanche, who are 4-13-1 in their past 18 games, Smith rarely was tested. He posted his 24th NHL shutout and improved to 7-1-1 against Colorado.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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