Blackpool went ahead against the run of play in the first half, but despite finishing the game with 10 men, they were able to take a point back to Bloomfield Road.
After a bright start, Forest almost found themselves behind when Nathan Delfouneso was released on the break; however, the visiting striker's shot cannoned back off the crossbar.
After continued pressure from the home team, almost from nowhere Blackpool took the lead. Chris Basham found Ludovic Sylvestre just outside the box, and the Frenchman opened up his body and curled the ball into the bottom corner to give the visitors the lead.
It was all Forest after that and they almost equalised through substitute McGugan. The winger had three efforts inside two minutes, the best of which was saved well by Matt Gilks.
Forest threw everything at Blackpool as the game entered the final 10 minutes, bringing on Billy Sharp in attack, and almost immediately the pressure told.
Sharp was brought down inside the box by Basham, giving the referee no option but to award a penalty. McGugan stepped up and slotted the spot kick past Gilks.
Buoyed by the goal, Forest continued to attack in search of a late winner but Sharp and McGugan were both thwarted late on by Gilks.
Despite seven minutes of added time, the home side were unable to find another goal and Blackpool hung on for a point.