Edmonton looked to have the win well in hand in regulation, but Detroit tied the game with just 3.9 seconds left. With an extra attacker on the ice, Dan Cleary's shot was tipped by Jiri Hudler past Oiler goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who had lost his stick on the play.
After a goalless overtime, it took six shooters aside before Torres beat Detroit starter Joey MacDonald and Roloson stopped Robert Lang to give the Oilers the win with a 3-2 shootout edge.
With the victory the Oilers improved to 11-8-1 on the year and 8-2 on home ice while Detroit, with its second straight loss in as many nights in Alberta, fell to 12-5-2.
The Oilers started the scoring four and a half minutes in when Ryan Smyth picked off a Chris Chelios pass and fed it to Shawn Horcoff. His one timer from in close beat MacDonald, who was making his first career NHL start.
It took the Red Wings less than three minutes to tie the game as Henrick Zetterberg found Kris Draper on a short-handed two-on-one break. Draper's shot was awkwardly gloved by Roloson, and after a lengthy review
it was determined that his mitt was in the net when he made the save.
The Oilers caught a break midway through the first as Joffrey Lupul's backhand passing attempt from behind the goal-line was inadvertently kicked in by the left skate of a sliding MacDonald.
Detroit had a glorious opportunity to tie it again just a couple of minutes later, but Roloson made a huge glove save, diving across the crease to rob a wide-open Cleary to keep Edmonton up 2-1 after the first.
The Red Wings were able to pull even five minutes into the second, when Danny Markov's soft shot found its way past a screened Roloson to make it 2-2.
The game remained tied until the 8:52 mark of the third period, when Torres' innocent looking wrist shot from the top of the circle hit MacDonald's pads and caromed in to give the Oilers the lead.
Edmonton's next opponent is the Calgary Flames on Tuesday for the third match of their seven-game homestand while Detroit returns home to face the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.
Notes: It was the third of four meetings between the two clubs this season. Edmonton won the first match 3-1 at home then lost 3-0 in Detroit . . . MacDonald started due to a wrist injury suffered by Chris Osgood and Detroit's desire to keep Dominik Hasek from starting on back-to-back nights at this point in the season . . . Edmonton's Oiler-owned Western Hockey League franchise finally received a name on Saturday and it is a familiar one. Joining the WHL in the 2007-08 season, the Edmonton team will be known as the Oil Kings. A previous Oil Kings team operated out of Edmonton for three decades, appearing in nine Memorial Cups and winning in 1963 and 1966.