Joel Ward had a short-handed goal and Eric Fehr also scored for the Capitals, who had won two in a row after dropping seven straight.
“We were terrible,” Washington coach Adam Oates said after his team fell behind 2-0 after a period. “It was probably the worst period I’ve seen the boys play in over a year. Why, I don’t know. It was collectively all of us.”
The Capitals were playing their fourth of a season-long five-game road trip that ends in Detroit on Friday night.
Moments after Bobrovsky gloved a power-play shot by Ovechkin, the Blue Jackets scored a short-handed goal.
MacKenzie pounced on a loose puck at center ice and skated in from the left wing unimpeded, deking to get Braden Holtby down on the ice and then sliding the puck inside the near post.
Johansen then carried the puck up the ice on a break, pulled up to look for a teammate, and passed to Jack Johnson, who fired a slap shot from the right point. The puck caromed off Jenner and Johansen had a vacant net to tap in the rebound.
The final 28 minutes was a succession of penalties. The damage had already been done.
“We lost some of our discipline and took too many penalties in the third period, got away from our game,” Johansen said. “But we did a great job in the first and second periods.”
Notes: Columbus LW Blake Comeau, still hurting from a sprained ligament in his left knee, was scratched. … The game was eerily similar to a lopsided 5-1 Blue Jackets victory over the Caps on Jan. 18, also in Nationwide Arena.