The Foxes goalkeeper pulled off a stunning first-half save at the King Power Stadium, with the Dane keeping Morten Gamst Pedersen at bay.
The tie was goalless at the time and Schmeichel's heroics paved the way for Chris Wood, Harry Kane and Andy King to wrap up the points at the opposite end of the field.
Foxes boss Pearson said of his keeper afterwards: "It was a fantastic save, and at a key time.
"The first goal in any game is always very important and for him to make that save at that point is clearly very important for us.
"It would have totally been against the run of play.
"Sometimes you notice goalkeepers who have a lot to do, but I'd rather have a goalkeeper who has little to do but when he does have something to do he does it well."
After seeing Leicester secure their first win in four to cement their standing inside the play-off places, Pearson added: "It is good to get back to winning ways. It was an important win for us and it keeps us in touch.
"We have still got a bit of ground to make up, but at least our destiny is in our own hands.
"It is good to bounce back and I am very pleased with the overall performance. We worked very hard and it was thoroughly professional."