Jimmy Bullard got a goal of Premier League class but Norwich took the derby honours at Portman Road with a convincing win.
Andrew Surman gave the visitors the lead early on with a close range finish and an own goal from Gareth McAuley had Paul Lambert's side in command at the break.
Simeon Jackson seemed to have sealed the points with 17 minutes left but Bullard gave Town a lifeline with a sublime finish soon after.
Russell Martin killed any hopes of a comeback from Town a minute later though, finishing off a counter attack with a right foot finish at the far post and Daniel Pacheco added a fifth with the last kick of the game.
Town made one change from the team that won at Bristol City at the weekend, Jason Scotland replacing the suspended Lee Martin.
Norwich started on the front foot and dangerman Grant Holt had a header deflected wide and a volley over inside the first five minutes.
Scotland sent a header back towards his own goal that Holt flicked on, Wes Hoolahan going down under a challenge from McAuley as he raced on to the ball but referee Jon Moss was right on the spot to wave away any penalty appeals.
Town responded with Scotland cutting in from the right and testing John Ruddy with a powerful left foot drive.
David Fox picked up the first yellow card for a foul on David Norris, Scotland then sending Connor Wickham clear on the left, the teenager firing wide.
Grant Leadbitter smashed a long range effort wide before Norwich got the breakthrough on 12 minutes, Surman putting the ball in the unguarded net after Arran Lee-Barrett could only divert Hoolahan's cross into his path.
Bullard, Town's most influential player on the night by some way, tested Ruddy, then shot wide after Josh Carson's lay-off.
The Canaries threatened continuously on the break and Damien Delaney blocked well from Jackson but on 23 minutes, the visitors doubled their lead - Fox's corner flying in off the unfortunate McAuley.
Zak Whitbread's challenge on Carson brought him a yellow card, Bullard's free-kick failing to trouble Ruddy.
Norwich continued to carry a threat and Holt was denied a third for the visitors when Lee-Barrett came to Town's rescue, Bullard striking over in the last effort of the half.
Andy Drury replaced Scotland at the break as Paul Jewell shuffled his pack and Town were a coat of paint away from a dream start to the second-half, Bullard volleying inches wide.
Marc Tierney became the third Canary to be booked, Carson his victim on the edge of the box, Ruddy smothering Bullard's free-kick behind for a corner.
Hoolahan went down in the box as he burst onto Jackson's pass, no penalty and rightly so, the midfielder then sending a strike from distance onto the roof of the net.
Leadbitter curled a right foot effort wide after a terrific run from Carlos Edwards before the Canaries extended the lead on 73 minutes, Holt the provider with a cross from the right and Jackson toe-poking the ball past Lee-Barrett.
Henri Lansbury replaced Fox for the last quarter hour, Town getting back in the game with Bullard exploding a right foot strike into the roof of the net from 25 yards.
The game was over on 80 minutes though, Martin sliding the ball past Lee-Barrett from Hoolahan's cross after swift break.
Holt was immediately replaced by Sam Vokes, Pacheco on for Hooahan as Norwich boss Lambert freshened his side up.
Jackson could have added a fifth with a shot into the sidenetting but the Canaries did find the net again in added on time, Pacheco ramming the ball in with the last kick of the game as Norwich moved back up into the automatic promotion places.
Town: Lee-Barrett, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, O'Dea, Carson, Leadbitter, Norris, Bullard, Wickham, Scotland (Drury 46). Subs not used: Fulop, Peters, Brown, Healy, Civelli, Whight.
Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Whitbread, Ward, Tierney, Crofts, Fox (Lansbury 75), Surman, Hoolahan (Pacheco 84), Holt (Vokes 81), Jackson. Subs not used: Rudd, Edwards, Lappin, McNamee. Booked: Fox, Whitbread, Tierney.