The Guadeloupe international, playing the last match of his loan spell from Bournemouth, saw red after thrusting his head into the face of Peter Hartley.
But the Minstermen responded with an exhilarating performance that left Pilgrims manager John Sheridan admitting his team might have lost 3-0 instead of drawing 0-0.
Jake Hyde had a glut of chances for the hosts and Luke Summerfield also went close.
York chief Russ Wilcox said: “I am so proud of the players. We played 70 minutes with 10 men but you couldn’t tell. We were the better team and should have won. It was an immense performance.”
While Plymouth were limited to two on-target efforts, Hyde might have had a hat-trick for York. He later turned provider, sending Summerfield through on goal, but McCormick made a fine save to earn his relieved team-mates a point.
Improving York have taken eight points from a possible 12 and travel to table-topping Wycombe on Saturday.
York City: Cisak; McCoy, Lowe, Zubar, Ilesanmi; Coulson (Meikle, 90), Penn, Summerfield, Carson; Hyde, Fletcher (McCombe, 22). Unused substitutes: Mooney, Montrose, Platt, De Girolamo, Morris.
Plymouth Argyle: McCormick; Mellor, McHugh, Nelson, Hartley (Norburn, 45), Kellett; O’Connor, Cox, B Reid (Banton, 73); R Reid, Alessandra (Morgan, 59). Unused substitutes: Bittner, Purrington, Norburn, Blizzard, Thomas.
Referee: D Drysdale (Lincoln).
Man of the match: Michael Coulson.