Greg Fleming’s homework paid off as the goalkeeper helped Peterhead move up to seventh place in League One and 10 points ahead of bottom side Stranraer.
Ryan Conroy’s brace had the Blue Toon two up at Balmoor when they conceded a second-half penalty.
With 25 minutes left, if James Hilton had scored it would have made for a nervy finish, but stopper Fleming plunged to his right to save and then clutched Hilton’s effort on the rebound.
Fleming revealed he had researched where Hilton may put a spot-kick before the game and was delighted his efforts paid off. He said: “I’d seen highlights of Stranraer playing Dumfermline in the Scottish Cup a few weeks ago.
“James put his penalty that way so I gambled he would go the same way again. He did and thankfully I managed to get the rebound as well.
“I try to do some research and watch games to see where players have put penalties before and gamble that they go the same way again.
“Sometimes they change but sometimes it works. Before every game I like to try to watch the opposition’s recent penalties.
“I watched James’s last penalty on Saturday morning and their other penalty taker Mark Stewart wasn’t playing so I knew he’d take it.”
Fleming felt it was an important win for Peterhead and added: “I think we deserved to win. We played well in the first half against a tricky wind.
“It was important we got the first goal and then we built on it.
“Ryan has done well since he got his match sharpness up and he’s a good player so hopefully we can see him kick on.
“It’s an important three points after losing to Forfar last week. Hopefully we can look up the table now.”
Peterhead started brightly with Jack Leitch testing keeper Max Currie from 18 yards and Rory McAllister heading a Conroy corner wide in the opening 20 minutes.
Scott Brown also stung Currie’s palms from long range and on 34 minutes the opener arrived when McAllister and Leitch combined down the right to set up Conroy and he fired into the bottom-right corner from 16 yards.
The Blue Toon’s second arrived six minutes into the second half when Aidan Smith burrowed his way down the left flank to the byline and his cutback found Conroy, who poked home from close range.
In reply Stranraer’s Adam Cummins headed wide from a Hilton corner and, in the 65th minute, Smith tripped Andrew Stirling in the box to give Hilton his chance from the spot – but Fleming kept the two-goal lead intact with a superb double save.
With two minutes left, Scott Brown side-footed home Peterhead’s third from 14 yards after substitute Jamie Stevenson beat three players down the right to tee up the midfielder.
Blue Toon manager Jim McInally said: “Generally I thought we played some terrific stuff and we had a number of really good passages of play.
“It was a really good team performance, there were no failures.
“I would love to know Greg’s record at saving penalties.
“It wasn’t just saving the penalty, it was the rebound which was perhaps an even better chance than the penalty.
“He’s a terrific goalkeeper and, after not having much to do during the game, he stepped up when we needed him.”