A second-half rally gave Aberdeen their first home league win since Boxing Day as the Dons picked the perfect time to end their run of defeats at Pittodrie.
The Dons were staring at the prospect of a fifth consecutive home league defeat at half-time but Hibs pressed the self-destruct button as the Dons scored three times to record a crucial 3-1 win.
The victory takes them to within a point of third-placed Motherwell, who they face on Friday.
McInnes believes the impact of Lewis Ferguson, who was on the receiving end of both yellow card challenges by Stephen Whittaker, was crucial.
He said: “I’m running out of things to say about Ferguson. He is so young but he just plays. He can do everything.
“He was outstanding. I thought Dylan McGeouch and Funso Ojo were terrific too.
“Our midfield was very good and you see the importance of having midfield influence in there too.
“We knew we were short in height but with the right delivery and pressure we could still cause problems and we did exactly that. Bruce Anderson came on and was really productive, running the legs off their centre backs. He was chasing pigeons up there.”
It all turned out well in the end but the Dons had Joe Lewis to thank for not being in serious trouble at the interval.
Lewis prevented Hibs from taking a fifth-minute lead when he dived low to his right to tip Christian Doidge’s net-bound header on to the post from a Paul McGinn cross.
Aberdeen responded with two efforts from Ferguson, the first straight at Ofir Marciano while the second went over the crossbar. But it was home goalkeeper Lewis who was again called into action to prevent Hibs from scoring in the 20th minute.
Ash Taylor and Shay Logan collided with each other while challenging for a high ball and it fell to Jamie Gullan, who raced clear, but Lewis saved the striker’s shot.
Aberdeen struggled to find any real rhythm, with Curtis Main flicking a Connor McLennan cross straight at Marciano and with the home side’s desperation to get a goal increasing, they conspired to shoot themselves in the foot by leaving the back door open – and Hibs punished them.
Logan burst into the opposition half but his touch was heavy and he knocked the ball too far in front of himself, lost possession, and Hibs broke quickly, with Scott Allan sending Doidge clear on goal.
Aberdeen’s backline stood like statues appealing for offside but Doidge did not wait.
Like Logan, his touch was heavy but he still managed to round Lewis before firing into the empty net
Aberdeen surged forward instantly in search of an equaliser and they should have been awarded the opportunity to draw level immediately when Greg Docherty hauled Ferguson to the deck in the penalty area. But to the astonishment of the home support, referee John Beaton gave a goal-kick.
The Dons had work to do in the second half but their cause was helped in the 55th minute when the visitors were reduced to 10 men.
Whittaker, who had already been booked, received his marching orders for a second caution for a foul on Ferguson.
Hibs went to one up front following the defender’s departure so McInnes replaced Logan with Bruce Anderson, effectively playing two at the back against Doidge.
Logan had barely taken his seat in the dugout when his side were level as Adam Jackson’s attempt to cut out McGinn’s cross ended with him sidefooting the ball into his own net.
Incredibly, the Dons were in the lead within two minutes as the visitors failed to clear a McGinn corner and the game of pinball in the penalty area ended with Andy Considine firing his side in front from close range.
Hibs were stunned and the Dons offered them little hope of recovering as they secured the points in the closing stages when Main scored the rebound after substitute Bruce Anderson’s shot had been blocked.
The Dons will get their chances to leapfrog Motherwell into third in the table when they take on the Steelmen at Fir Park this Friday night.