A goal four minutes from time snatched a point for Palace in their battle to avoid relegation and it could be one that so vital come the beginning of May.
The worst possible start for Palace to the afternoon as after just six minutes the home side took the early advantage. A Robbie Savage free kick was floated over into the box and first to the ball was Russell Anderson who headed the ball past Julian Speroni.
Derby enjoyed the better of the opening stages and on the quarter hour won two consecutive corners with the second of them bringing a left footed shot wide of the target by Jay McEveley.
Further danger was averted for the visitors by the official's flag as Michaell Tonge played Chris Porter through but he was flagged offside with only Speroni to beat.
Paul Hart's side won their first corner just past the half hour mark as the ball was just cleared from infront of Darren Ambrose as he was about to shape to shoot at goal, from this they won another but both were cleared by the defence without troubling Stephen Bywater.
At the other end David Martin has a left foot shot just outside the box which is easily saved by Speroni.
In added time of the half Tomasz Cywka broke clear down the right and his first cross was headed clear by Clint Hill and then when the ball came back to him a powerful shot at an acute angle by him again was turned around the post by Speroni.
First chances of the half both fell to the home side as Savage saw a free kick from distance go over the bar and Shaun Barker headed over from a corner.
On 62 minutes a better start to the second half saw Palace with another chance as John turned in the box but saw his shot go wide of the target.
This was soon followed by a long range effort from Johnny Ertl but his left foot shot didn't trouble Bywater.
With fifteen minutes remaining Alassane N'Diaye was introduced to the action in place of Ertl.
A fantastic double save by Bywater prevented Palace getting on level terms. An Ambrose shot from distance was parried by the 'keeper and that fell to John whose shot was also saved and the danger was cleared by a defender.
Just minutes later John was denied again, this time by the woodwork, as his shot struck the crossbar with the 'keeper beaten.
Neither could do nothing about his next chance though as with five minutes remaining John struck the ball into the bottom of the net to bring the scores level. He picked up the ball and volleyed the shot past Bywater to the delight of the travelling support behind that goal.
A better second half display from Palace and one which could have seen the visitors take all the three points if it wasn't for those fine saves and the woodwork.
Derby Bywater, Hunt, Barker, Anderson, McEveley, Tonge, Green,Savage, Martin, Cywka (Davies 71), Porter.
Subs Not Used: Deeney, Croft, Teale, Pringle, Moxey, Sunu.
Crystal Palace Speroni, Butterfield, Hill, McCarthy,Hills (Clyne 33), Danns, Ertl (N'Diaye 77), Derry,Carle (John 46), Ambrose, Scannell.
Subs Not Used: Mann, Lawrence, Comley, Zaha.
Booked: Hill, N'Diaye.
Attendance : 30,255 Referee : Tony Bates (Staffordshire).