The first real chance came to the visitors and they took it expertly.
Harry Pickering, who had been booked after less than a minute for a foul on Brad Potts, whipped in a free-kick from out wide, which met the head of Ben Brereton Diaz.
The Chile international’s effort hit the far post of Daniel Iversen’s, but it came back into the path of Sam Gallagher, who reacted first with a diving header to give Rovers the lead.
That was a lead that ended up being doubled just minutes later, as John Buckley went unchallenged through the middle of the park and fired in a low, daisy-cutting shot that found the corner of Iversen’s net.
North End were being thoroughly outplayed by their Lancashire counterparts, who were passing the ball around PNE players like they were statues, so it would have come as a surprise to see the Lilywhites get a goal back just before the half-hour mark.
Greg Cunningham’s good play in an unfamiliar inside position of the pitch saw him feed the ball into Alan Browne, who cut back onto his weaker left foot before firing a shot towards Thomas Kaminski’s goal, which was deflected into the roof of his net.
Rovers would soon have their advantage back at two goals though thanks to their skipper Darragh Lenihan.
Joe Rothwell clipped a free kick from not far outside the box towards the back post, and up highest to meet the ball was Lenihan, whose stooping header looped into the far corner of the goal to make it 3-1.
North End went more attacking after half-time with Cunningham withdrawn for a striker in Sean Maguire, but it only took Blackburn seven minutes of the second half to score a fourth goal, and it came from an unlikely source in Lewis Travis.
The holding midfielder showed all the composure of a seasoned striker to slide the ball inside Iversen’s near post for his first goal since January 2020 to send the away fans in the Bill Shankly Kop into raptures.
PNE did have their own chances to cut the scoreline down, with Emil Riis having a close range effort turned away by Kaminski not long after Travis scored the fourth for the visitors, but it was a performance by North End that lacked cohesion.
Rovers were allowed to play at their own pace for most of the rest of the match as they closed out an important win, which takes them to within three points of sixth-placed Sheffield United in the table.
FULL TIME: Preston North End 1-4 Blackburn Rovers (Browne; Gallagher, Buckley, Lenihan, Travis)