BUFFALO — With defenseman Matt Niskanen not with the team in Buffalo because of an upper-body injury, the Washington Capitals have recalled defenseman Aaron Ness from their American Hockey League in Hershey.

Washington already has six healthy defensemen without Niskanen, so Ness is believed to be insurance. Taylor Chorney will likely be in the lineup over him on Friday night against the Sabres.

Ness was Washington’s last cut on defense in the preseason, and the 26-year-old registered two assists in eight games with the Capitals last season. Ness was drafted by the Islanders in the second round, 40th overall, in the 2008 NHL Draft and has recorded five points (one goal and four assists) in 37 career NHL games with the Islanders and Washington.

Ness has registered nine points (three goals and six assists) in 17 games with Hershey this season. Last season, Ness ranked second among Bears defensemen in points (27) and assists (21) and tied for second in goals (six).