The winning goal with 1:37 left came when Vrbata's backhander off a feed from Shane Doan was stopped by Colorado goalie Peter Budaj only to find its way into the net when Doan crashed into Budaj and two Avalanche players. It took a video review before the goal was allowed.
Doan finished with two assists as the Coyotes ended a two-game losing streak. Mikael Tellqvist, in his first start since Jan. 17, came up with 33 saves. Peter Mueller and Daniel Winnik also scored for Phoenix.
T.J. Hensick scored twice for Colorado but Budaj allowed four goals on 33 shots for the Avalanche, who have dropped four of six. Tyler Arnason added two assists and Ian Laperriere accounted for Colorado's other goal.