A great shot from Scott Robertson rescued a first point of the season for Hibs as Dundee United failed to make the most of the openings they created.
A neat finish from Stuart Armstrong had United ahead at the interval.
Hibs struggled to make any impact before a tussle between Kevin Thomson and Gavin Gunning resulted in both men being dismissed on 65 minutes.
And, with play growing increasingly frenzied, Robertson found the bottom corner in style from 18 yards.
Prior to the red cards, Hibs were completely bereft of confidence and rudderless, with the home support venting their dissatisfaction in the direction of beleaguered manager Pat Fenlon.
But the fight between home midfielder Thomson and United defender Gunning lifted the Easter Road atmosphere and contributed hugely to an unlikely comeback.
During a dismal opening 15 minutes Fraser Mullen was booked for a crude early challenge on Gary Mackay-Steven and was thereafter tortured by the visiting winger.
David Goodwillie was let down by his touch when running on to a lovely Mackay-Steven cross but the striker recovered the situation to roll an inviting pass into Armstrong's path and only a great lunging block from Robertson forced the midfielder's shot over the crossbar.
Mackay-Steven then waltzed in from the left to set up John Rankin but the resulting strike from the edge of the penalty area sailed too high.
Armstrong (left) celebrates his opener with Rankin
With Hibs unable to retain possession, United kept coming forward and the home defence was caught napping when a long ball over the top from Callum Butcher was controlled and tucked away by Armstrong, who had to stretch to poke his shot beyond advancing goalkeeper Ben Williams.
The goal, United's first of the season, brought jeers from the home sections of the ground and there were further loud protests when Mullen was replaced by Ryan McGivern, with Lewis Stevenson switching from the left to right-back.
The much-maligned Stevenson was, however, soon being applauded for a great sliding tackle on Mackay-Steven as another gaping hole in the home rearguard appeared.
It took Hibs until first-half injury-time to register a shot on target, with Radoslaw Cierniak punching away a fierce long-range effort from James Collins.
Fenlon's side at least appeared more determined after the break but the chances kept falling the way of the visitors, as Goodwillie miscued a close-range header and Andrew Robertson shot into the side-netting after an enterprising run.
But then came the double dismissal as Thomson and Gunning were sent packing after an ugly brawl and the complexion of the match changed.
With the game stretched and Mackay-Steven well shackled by Stevenson, United were no longer in control and Cierniak tipped over a 25-yard strike from Liam Craig as the fired-up crowd urged Hibs on.
United midfielder Ryan Dow was through on goal only to be thwarted by a good block from Williams and Hibs were level soon after.
Robertson's first effort hit team-mate Sam Stanton on the edge of the penalty box and he gathered the loose ball to jink past an opponent and arrow a wonderful shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Collins was wide with a curling attempt as play raged from end-to-end at a rapid rate of knots.
In the frantic closing stages neither side could apply the finishing touch as United substitute Ryan Gauld skewed a first-time strike off-target and Stanton dragged a shot a yard beyond the post.
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