Emergency services were called to reports a man had been stabbed in Jutland Street at around 3am on Friday (June 17).
The victim, later named as 42-year-old Lee Dawson, was taken to Royal Preston Hospital with “serious chest injuries” but later died.
Mr Dawson was originally from Preston, but had been living in Sunderland.
Officers confirmed no arrests have been made but a murder investigation was underway.
Paying tribute to Mr Dawson, his family said: “Lee loved his children deeply and would do anything for them.
“He had a strong heart and stronger head. He was a big friendly giant.
“Once you had Lee as a friend you had a friend for life.
“He lived life to the full and will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends.”
Police urged anyone who saw anything suspicious in and around the Jutland Street area before or after the attack to come forward.
Residents were also asked to check their CCTV or doorbell footage for anything that may help police with their investigation.
Det Chief Insp Mark Haworth-Oates, of Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation Team, said: “These are very sad and tragic circumstances and our thoughts are with the Lee's loved ones at this difficult time.
“They are being provided with our full support and have our deepest sympathies.
“Our investigation is at its very early stages and we have a team of detectives working to identify and arrest those responsible.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 101, quoting log number 0149 of June 17.
Officers confirmed no arrests had been made
Independent charity Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.