The hosts got off to a catastrophic start when Claude Goncalves was adjudged to have cleared Remy Cabella's effort off the line with his hand.
Cabella himself stepped up to squeeze his penalty under a diving Guillermo Ochoa to give the Montpellier a 10th-minute lead.
Former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Zubar drew the sides level in the 36th minute with a downward header from a free kick.
The teams were also level in terms of players just two minutes later when Yassine Jebbour was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Daniel Congre came close to giving Montpellier the lead for the second time in the match, but Ochoa made an acrobatic save to deny the defender.
The Mexican goalkeeper then had to be alert twice in as many minutes to deny an increasingly dangerous away side from taking the lead.
Aboubacar Demba Camara almost scored a bizarre winner in the 84th minute when a shot deflected off him, but Geoffrey Jourdren clawed the ball back off the line after it had originally squirmed through his legs.
In stoppage time, Jourdren made more magnificent saves to ensure that his side left with a point.