Craig Brown got of to a bad start as Preston manager seeing Eric Skora being sent off in the 47th minute for his second bookable offence.
Ricardo Fuller had made it 1-0 to Preston in the 67th minute but Palace equalised through Darren Powell two minutes later and then substitute Steve Kabba scored the winner four minutes from the end to make it 2-1 to Crystal Palace.
Andy Johnson was stretchered off with a serious neck injury and had to go to hospital right on half time.
A crowd of 14,663 saw new Preston manager Brown get off to a bad start in his first game in charge of the club.
Crystal Palace had Powell booked for a foul on Skora in the 23rd minute and Skora was also booked in the 38th minute for fouls on Dougie Freedman on the left-hand side edge of the box.
Palace suffered a terrible injury right on half time when Michael Jackson was challenged with Johnson who went down and was stretchered off with a serious neck injury.
Skora, the Preston midfielder, was sent off in the 47th minute for a foul on substitute Tommy Black and the shirt-pulling was his second yellow card.
Preston brought on substitute Dickson Etuhu for Paul McKenna in the 59th minute and Palace brought on Kabba for Aki Riihilathi in the 61st minute.
Ricardo Fuller made it 1-0 to Preston in the 67th minute with a 15-yard lob over Matt Clarke after Richard Cresswell had headed the ball on.
Palace equalised immediately with Powell hitting a shot under the Preston goalkeeper after a corner had not been cleared properly by the defence.
Super sub Kabba scored the winner four minutes from time with a 15-yard left-foot shot into the top left-hand corner of the net