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 defenceman 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.
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