Saints striker Simeon Jackson scored from the spot in the 21st minute before the Dark Blues’ skipper, who signed for the Tayside club in August after a short spell as Livingston player/manager, drove in a deserved leveller in the 36th minute.
Jim McIntyre’s side had the best of the second half as well but could not find a winner, leaving the Dundee boss looking for his first victory after five matches in charge and still at the bottom of the table, a point behind the Paisley side.
The Buddies have not won a league game since the opening day of the season and have gone nine games without a win under boss Oran Kearney, and both teams continue their search for form.
There was obvious pressure around this bottom of the table clash and both managers made three changes to their line-ups.
Martin Woods, Nathan Ralph and Benjamin Kallman came into the home team while Adam Hammill, Lee Hodson and Kyle Magennis were restored to the Buddies side.
After a perfectly-observed minute’s silence ahead of Remembrance Sunday, it was Dundee who first came close to getting the breakthrough.
In the ninth minute Jesse Curran’s cross from the right was headed past by striker Benjamin Kallman and then a powerful Ralph drive from distance was parried to safety by Craig Samson.
The Buddies keeper then clawed away a close-range header from skipper Miller as the Paisley men failed to deal with a Woods corner.
Saints’ goal came against the run of play. When referee Bobby Madden judged Dundee defender Cammy Kerr to have fouled Jackson inside the box as he latched on to a Hammill pass, the 31-year-old Canada attacker got up and hammered his penalty in off the crossbar.
There had been claims of a Jackson hand ball in the lead-up to the penalty which enraged the home fans further, but that anger turned to cheers when 38-year-old Miller swept in a Benjamin Kallman cross from eight yards out for his first Dundee goal since signing from Livingston.
The Taysiders’ dominance continued into the second half and crosses from Calvin Miller and Curran flashed across the box but found no takers.
Just before the hour mark Curran’s 25-yard drive was pushed away by Samson and Saints survived again.
In the 69th minute, with the game flagging, Jackson was booked for simulation inside the box following another sporadic St Mirren attack.
Dundee ran out of steam as the visitors came back with a late rally and an ignored penalty shout when substitute Danny Mullen went down in the box, but the draw suits them marginally more than the home side.