Yakubu also hit a post before Blackburn took the lead and, although their status looked perilous heading into the match, victory gives Steve Kean's side a lift with a tough set of three games to come.
Blackburn travel to Tottenham and Chelsea, either side of a crucial home game against Wigan, so three points against Norwich was vital.
Kean praises Blackburn 'courage'
The victory lifted Rovers above Bolton and briefly level on points with QPR, although they went three points adrift of safety again after Rangers' 1-0 victory over Tottenham later on Saturday.
And though their fans were supportive throughout, there were constant reminders that relegation worries are outstripped by the ongoing concerns about the club's ownership.
Chants of "Steve Kean out" and [the club's owner's] "Venky's out" were more than a footnote of the club's state and supporters will cast an envious glance towards their opponents as the season comes to a finale.
Norwich actually started the game as though they were fighting Premier League relegation, such was their greater purpose and had justification to feel hard done by when they went in behind at the break.
With James Vaughan returning to the attack for his first action since February, Norwich packed the midfield in a diamond formation and their fluency and higher tempo gave them the upper edge.
Grant Holt headed wide and had a shot blocked, while Jonny Howson tested Paul Robinson with a long-range shot.
But for all their possession and clever movement, they left gaps on the flanks which Blackburn eventually exploited.
Scott Dann was beaten to a header which whistled past the post and Yakubu almost scored a scruffy bicycle kick when he clipped Pedersen's knockback from a Hoilett cross.
Silly goals cost Norwich - Lambert
The Nigerian's effort was the cue for improvement, and two minutes later Rovers took an unexpected lead when Pedersen found Formica, who was unmarked at the back post.
Spurned on by their opener, Kean's side put further daylight between themselves and the visitors when Hoilett collected the ball on the left flank dribbled inside and unleashed a curling shot into the top corner.
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